Monday, June 1, 2015

Woman in Gold

     Several years ago I went to the musem mile event on fifth avenue . That's the one night in June when the museums have free admission. That year my friend insisted we go to the Neueue Gallery to see a Gustav Klimt painting. I did not really know the history behind it until I saw this new film Woman in Gold.  Apparently the painting called Woman in Gold was a painting of an Austrian Jewish woman named Adele Bloch-Bauer. It was one of five paintings that the Bloch-Bauer family owned before the Nazis stole them from their home during the holocaust. These paintings were displayed in the Belvedere museum in Austria. Aside from being stolen paintings they also stripped the painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer of its Jewish roots. It was called Woman in Gold instead of saying it was a painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer.
      In the late nineties Maria Altmann , the niece of Adele Bloch-Bauer created a law suit to regain custody of her family's paintings. Through quite an amazing battle they did manage to recover these paintings. What an amazing feat. It is bittersweet. Though she could have the paintings Maria Altmann could never replace the family she lost and the home and homeland she lost due to the Nazis.
        The saddest moment of the film is when in a flashback Maria Altmann says goodbye to her parents before she escapes Vienna. Her father says that they worked hard for what they had but though the Nazis could take away their things they could not take away the love they had for their family. To me this is the story of the Jews  and anti-semitism. We work so hard for what we have and the goyim are so envious.
         When watching the film it is important to note that the painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer is so much more dazzling in person than what one sees on film.
         This is a really good film worth seeing


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