Top positive review
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Always interesting, ultimately moving
on April 1, 2013
One of those documentaries that grows in impact as it goes along. For the first hour or so I found this study of the Nazi's plundering
and stealing Europe's great works of art, along with the allies attempts to spare art during the war, intellectually interesting, but a bit
dry and even repetitive.
But as the film moves on to the aftermath of the war, and we get more of the human side of the story. Great art treasures are returned
to the lands whose cultures they represent and we see the joy that it brings. We hear both sides of the Russian debate about keeping
the art they took from Germany as a sort of reparation for the horrible human cost of the war. We see restorations still going on 60 years
later with care and passion. We get to know a Christian German who has made it his mission to return beautiful and intricate Torah scroll
caps to their rightful Jewish owners. And in the process the film blossoms into a very human examination of just how important art is to
human beings and to our sense of selves.
Ultimately, what starts feeling like a somewhat academic exercise ends up as a very moving and personal documentary.