The Painter and the Thief

The Painter and the Thief

The Painter and the Thief

While trying to find her stolen paintings, a reputable artist meets and befriends the man who stole them in this critically-acclaimed documentary. Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Creative Storytelling at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

When two of artist Barbora Kysilkova’s most valuable paintings are stolen from a gallery at Frogner in Oslo, the police are able to find the thief after a few days, but the paintings are nowhere to be found. Barbora goes to the trial in hopes of finding clues, but instead she ends up asking the thief if she can paint a portrait of him. This will be the start of a very unusual friendship. Over three years, this cinematic documentary follows the incredible story of the artist looking for her stolen paintings, while at the same time turning the thief into art.

2020Rating: M, Mature themes and coarse language102 minsNorway
Documentary

Streaming (5 Providers)

The Painter and the Thief / Reviews

Boston Globe

Boston Globe

The documentary won a special jury award for creative storytelling at the most recent Sundance Film Festival and it comes to streaming video as one of the year’s most affecting and subtly radical movie experiences.

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San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle

Between Kysilkova’s work and theirs, it’s hard to take your eyes off of this film.

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A.V. Club

A.V. Club

The Painter And The Thief sometimes lands on the wrong side of the line between feeling expertly manipulated and feeling jerked around.

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Variety

Variety

When Ree first started filming, he couldn’t have known where this story would lead, and in order to re-create that sense of unpredictability, he uses a time-bending nonlinear structure and various sleight-of-hand techniques to deliver information when it’s most effective.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

The film’s sustained intimacy speaks highly of the trust the subjects came to feel for the filmmaker, who is able to cut to the quick as he follows and reveals their life phases while also maintaining a filmmaker’s discreet distance. It’s an unusual look at the slipperiness of the human condition.

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Screen Daily

Screen Daily

Ree uses dramatic devices to tell this tale, structuring the documentary a bit like a novel.

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IndieWire

IndieWire

The film is most compelling for how it complicates that dynamic, levels the playing field, and leans into the aesthetics of suffering.

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