In the long flight from Bangalore to San Francisco, ways to pass time are very few. One can watch movies, read or sleep. I did a bit of all. And the two movies I watched are worth mentioning to you. They are based on real stories. They both are related to art.
Woman in Gold
This is the story of a woman, Maria Altmann, a migrant from Austria who left her home country to USA after losing many of her family members to the suppression of Jewish community by Nazi during 1940’s. A painting of her aunt known as “Woman in Gold” (which was their family asset) finds way into an art gallery and becomes a national icon, an equivalent of ‘Mona Lisa’ for Austria. In an effort to reclaim the painting, Maria hires a lawyer, who is also a Jewish with Austrian origins living in US. Their attempt to reason with the Austrian Govt. does not go well but with determination they find a way to sue Govt. of Austria in US. After much effort and legal battle, they win the case and Maria gets the possession of painting back.
The Holocaust is a matter of past, but seeing this movie reminds us that the victims have not forgotten their pains yet. Though there are efforts to return what was rightfully theirs before they were forced to leave their country, it offers no more than a temporary relief. I think the loss of root leaves a void in the human beings which cannot be filled for generations
This is the story of a painter (Margaret) with an uniqueness in her creative work. Her daughter is a model for her paintings and all her paintings have large eyes, not proportionate but expressive and seeming like a window to the soul. She had left her husband and come to San Francisco to earn a living to support her daughter. She finds a companion in Walter Keane, a painter in disguise. They get married. Margaret sits at home and paints. Keane sells them but he tells to the clients that he has painted them himself. Those paintings catch public attention and the money and fame flows to their family. Keane is a good marketer but he lacks the talent or mind of an artist. Margaret pained by her husband’s behavior leaves him, to live in a distant place quietly with her daughter. Later she gathers courage and reveals to public that she was the artist behind those paintings. But her husband refuses to accept the fact. A trial begins and Margaret wins the lawsuit and establishes her repute.
A woman artist gets her due recognition in the trick playing male dominated world. But it also emphasizes the fact that, an artist has a stronger association with his/her work and would not compromise it for long.