The Painter and the Thief

Available until June 24

No Longer Available

Film Info
Country Listing:Norway
Premiere Status:Canadian Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2020
Accessibility:Partial Subtitles
Program Category:Artscapes
Film Subjects:Mental Health & Addiction
Art & Architecture
Crime & Intrigue
Northern Europe
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Benjamin Ree
Producer(s):Ingvil Giske
Editor(s):Robert Stenga°rd
Cinematography:Benjamin Ree
Kristoffer Kumar
Composer:Uno Helmersson
Sound:Svenn Jakobsen


When two of Barbora Kysilkova’s most famous paintings get stolen in Oslo, the Czech artist decides to confront one of the accused in court. Unable to discover what happened to her artwork, she instead asks if she can paint the thief’s portrait—a surprising request that he agrees to and that leads to an unexpected friendship. Barbora becomes Karl-Bertil’s closest ally and carer when his self-destructive behaviour lands him in hospital, but her solicitude reveals how much of her own wounds she sees in his. Filmed over three years and full of twists and turns, Benjamin Ree’s documentary skilfully plays with chronology and perspectives to build an edge-of-your-seat narrative worthy of the best fiction scripts. Constantly challenging our perceptions, his psychological study of this vulnerable and compelling duo shows that sometimes the complexity of human nature can only be grasped through art. Charlotte Selb

Artscapes program sponsored by
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The Royal Norwegian Embassy supports Norwegian films and Q&As at Hot Docs
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Additional Information

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