An artist befriends the thief who stole her paintings. She becomes his closest ally when he is severely hurt in a car crash and needs full time care, even if her paintings are not found. But then the tables turn.


Benjamin Ree
11 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Karl Bertil-Nordland Karl Bertil-Nordland ... Self
Barbora Kysilkova Barbora Kysilkova ... Self
Øystein Stene Øystein Stene


Young Czech artist Barbora Kysilkova relocates from Berlin to Oslo to launch her career as a painter. In April of 2015, her two most valuable, large-format paintings are stolen - with care - in broad daylight from the windowfronts of Galleri Nobel in Oslo's city center. Desperate for answers about the theft of her paintings, Barbora is presented with an unusual opportunity to reach out to one of the men involved in the heist - Norwegian career criminal, Karl-'Bertil' Nordland. Filmmaker Benjamin Ree begins to document the story after Barbora unbelievably invites her thief to sit for a portrait, capturing the unlikely relationship that ensues as the equally damaged duo find common ground and form an inseparable bond through their mutual affinity for art. Written by Mae Moreno

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Did You Know?


A friend of Barbora began filming her already back in 2014. She took photos and filmed the making of the two paintings that later would be stolen and she was also there during the exhibition. She also participated in the trial. The courtroom recordings are the actual recording of the first meeting of Karl-Bertil and Barbora. Together with the CCTV footage, these archives makes up the beginning of the film. See more »


Features Dugma: The Button (2016) See more »


Letter to Barbora
Performed, Written and Produced by Uno Helmersson
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User Reviews

A beautiful story of forgiveness, rebirths and friendship
7 June 2020 | by VickiwindSee all my reviews

I didn't expect to be so moved by this documentary. The first 20 min or so, I had doubts as to the depth of the film - but as it progresses, it builds suspense and substance. The twists and turns are interesting but the real insight is how life is more complicated than good vs bad, and how people can't be categorized this way, and if you can see that, it can change your life. Truly beautiful story about the power of understanding, and love.

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Norway | USA


English | Norwegian

Release Date:

22 May 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Painter and the Thief See more »


Box Office


NOK5,993,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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