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Film Screening: The Desert of Forbidden Art

Film Screening: The Desert of Forbidden Art

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When:

  • Sun 4 Mar ’12, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Where:

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Streets, Auckland CBD

Restrictions:

All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

How does art survive in a time of oppression? During Soviet rule, artists who stayed true to their vision are imprisoned or executed.

Their plight inspires Igor Savitsky who daringly rescues 40,000 fellow artists' works and creates a museum in Uzbekistan's desert, far from the watchful eyes of the KGB. He amasses an eclectic mix of Russian Avant-Garde art. His greatest discovery is an unknown school of artists who settle in Uzbekistan after the Revolution, and encounter a unique Islamic culture as exotic as Tahiti was for Gauguin.

Ben Kingsley, Sally Field and Ed Asner voice the diaries and letters of Savitsky and the artists. Intercut with recollections of the artists' children and rare archival footage, the film takes us on a dramatic journey of sacrifice for the sake of creative freedom.

Described as "one of the most remarkable collections of 20th century Russian art" and located in one of the world's poorest regions, today these paintings are worth millions.

They are a lucrative target for Islamic fundamentalists, corrupt bureaucrats and art profiteers. The collection remains as endangered as when Savitsky first created it, posing the question whose responsibility is it to preserve this cultural treasure.

Russia Federation/USA/Uzbekistan 2009 / 80min
Director/producer Tchavdar Georgiev, Amanda Pope
Voiced by Ben Kingsley, Ed Asner, Sally Field

Auditorium

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