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Never Look Away: Film Review

May 13, 2019

Movie review: Never Look Away, a film by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

The artist as a boy in Nazi Germany, with his family.

The artist as a boy in Nazi Germany, with his family.

One after the other, my artist friends told me, “you have to see this film.” Featured in a limited run at the vintage Avalon theater in Washington, DC, this German language film purports to tell the story of Gerhard Richter, hailed as one of the world’s greatest artists. (Although the artist has disavowed the story and names are substituted).

My friends were right: I LOVED THIS MOVIE. It’s 3 hours long, with subtitles, and features a fake Joseph Beuys…. what more can you ask for? In addition to the themes of the origins of beauty and the uses of art, this beautiful movie also filled in some gaps in my understanding of Gerhard Richter’s work.

A central character tells the artist as a boy, “Everything true is beautiful,” and this film reminds me that it is important to recognize that, especially in the midst of the doom and gloom (I almost wrote “bloom”) we are living through today.

Never Look Away doesn’t appear to be available streaming yet, but keep your eyes open, and check out the trailer, below. I would love to hear what you think!