In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
Young artist Kurt Barnert (Tom Schilling) has fled to West-Germany, but he continues to be tormented by the experiences he made in his childhood and youth in the Nazi years and during the GDR-regime. When he meets the student Ellie (Paula Beer), he is convinced that he has met the love of his life and begins to create paintings that mirror not only his own fate, but also the traumas of an entire generation.Written by
Wiedemann & Berg Film
Inspired by the life of one artist and stories by others, this tale of fiction asks artists what is their truth, and how they are able to reveal it. Along the way, it shows how Nazi and Soviet art have strong similarities in their realisms, while modern art can be conceptual jokes.
The humans are 2 families who, if they knew, were on opposite sides during the Nazi era. The artist / husband's father suffered both ways as joining the Nazis too late, while his beloved aunt was sent away by his father-in-law, eventually to the gas chambers. But the father-in-law spends his post-war life in fear of Nazi hunters, even as he hides in plain sight.
Featuring a strong cast and realistic sets, this is a strong movie. Still, from the director's Q+A from the Toronto International Film Festival, the idea of subjective truth that also infuses the film can be a distraction.
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