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 DDR-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
I had time to check out this film yesterday and decided to go for it despite its 3 hour and 9 minute running length. I have seen von Donnersmarck's The Lives of Others and The Tourist (the latter of which was awful). The Lives of Others was great though, so I was in anticipation to see what he would see next. Pay no mind to the running length of this film, its an astounding and really fantastically gripping film that is actually quite inspiring.
The film is about the life of an artist named Kurt from his childhood to adulthood and the events in his life that inspire him to become the artist that he is. Early in his life his aunt is euthanized during Nazi, Germany because of suspicions that she may be schizophrenic. Growing up he struggles to find his calling in life but little does he know that the events of his past are what are present in his current day life, unbeknownst to him. I know this wasn't a really in depth summary but that is intentional as I want you to go see this film and experience it for yourself.
From the opening moments in the museums art gallery to the closing moment of Kurt staring at the camera, this is an alluring viewing. Its beautifully shot and is inclusive of a wide range of emotions and life processes including love, hate, death, despair, ambition, and determination. I liked the love story in the film as well. Normally you would see couples in films bicker but in this film its pure love, passion, and support throughout.
Apparently the film is loosely based on the life of Gerhard Richter. I can't really comment on that accuracy but I will say that the blurred paintings of photographs that Kurt paints are absolutely wonderful. Its so nice to see him finally have that moment and find his true calling and his real motivation for painting. I was actually inspired by Kurt's journey in his life and finale finding that recipe for success. In many ways I can relate.
I was a huge fan of the moving score for this film. Especially in latter stages of the film where it was so effective and just so perfect fit. The acting is good all around and at times the film utilizes subtle humor. I could have actually sat through another hour of this film because it embodies so much of what I wish films would these days.
I'm not often really moved by pictures like I was with this. Every scene in this long film is important as it comes back later. Its just pure art in cinematic form. I rarely ever hand out ratings this high but I really feel like Never Look Away is very deserving of that honor. Indeed, its hard to look away from the beauty on display in this film. Just a truly moving experience that I recommend to everyone.
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