Friday, April 24, 2015

Kyi May Kaung's movie review of The Woman in Gold

I went to see the movie Woman in Gold, about the Gustav Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer that the German govt had to return to Maria Altman (played here in movie by Helen Mirren).

I forgot there was a party in the party room to discuss activities (recreational) in the building--but I had already decided I could not volunteer anytime so I did not miss it that much.  When I got home, people were coming out of the party room in their party clothes, and smiling and talking to each other, so they must have had some wine to drink.
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Anyway, back to the movie.

It was Excellent.  Very moving and very easy to relate to, very well-written, and the flashbacks woven in very well, esp. the memory around the apotek or chemist's (pharmacy)--

It was easy to relate to Altman saying, "But I would have to go there, and I don't want to go there.  These people (?) took from me my home, my loved ones, my life.  I would not go back for a million paintings."  These may not be the actual words as I was not taking notes in the movie theatre.

I did not know that the lawyer (real name) is the grandson of the composer (also Jewish) Arnold Schonberg (who died in Treblinka), and I wonder if this Altman has anything to do with that wonderful dept store I liked so much, B. Altman's in NY.

Anyway, the movie is worth seeing, and Berlin looks like Berlin.

Even on a short trip, when I was out of the cocoon provided by our hosts, I saw some racism and racist/totalitarian types, like the woman in the bathroom (read abt her in my story My Potsdam, now available on Amazon)

I know Berlin too has a lot of bad memories just under the surface, just like Cambodia, just like S. Korea.

Therefore I did not go to see Hitler's bunker, and may never do so, though we did see the Holocaust Memorial--I remember its maze-like construction, reminiscent of the maze in JK Rawling and in a recent movie--

In Berlin, I would now and then sight the 2 Vietnamese poets between the aisles, the sides of which were a bit like gravestones, and try and click a photo.

When I was in NY this time, I knew Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer was on display at the Neue Gallerie, and I even wrote the address down, but in the end was too tired to go.

I wish I had a spare $500 to make another trip, but I don't.

But it is good to know that it will be on display always, and that eventually, after Maria Altman got back the painting, it was sold to Lauder (of Estee Lauder fame) for 135 m $$

and so, story ended "happily" even though none of the Holocaust victims can be brought back to life again, nor their other property returned.

This movie should be seen in conjunction with Monuments Men.

If you are overseas (from USA) and wish to come on an art trip, you must pay you way all the way--however, if you tell me in advance, I can meet up with you in the Neue Gallerie for a few hours.

As I always say, I wish all those "Burma people" would have other interests than Burma--

they would learn so much by studying how Jews were killed in Germany--after first being ostracized as less than human--

they could read Maus for instance

or The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh Trevor Roper.

Nuremburg--both the book and the movie which was based on the book, are both also excellent.

I know someone who visits this blog actually went to see the courtroom at Nuremburg.

I have only been to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, and the Memorial in Lublin, Poland--but I will never forget any of it.

I hope one day the dog cells and coffin cells of Insein will be shown to the world, and be nothing but a sorry museum with sad memories.

It was an experience, to park on the white line which had once been the Berlin Wall.  So many stories, so many people killed trying to cross to freedom.

KMKaung
4-25-2015




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