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GURLITT AND THE SECRET OF THE NAZI TREASURE (SELTSAME HERR GURLITT, DER)

GURLITT AND THE SECRET OF THE NAZI TREASURE
photo © BROADVIEW TV

The case is as fascinating as a crime story: In 2010 customs officers take notice of an older German man traveling from Zurich to Munich. He is carrying cash, just under the allowed maximum amount. The man’s name is Cornelius Gurlitt and he is 79 years old at the time. The customs officers decide to follow up on him. A year later, Gurlitt sells a valuable Expressionist painting at an auction for almost one million euros, which sparks the customs authorities to issue a search warrant for his apartment in Munich. What the agents find there in early 2012 exceeds their expectations by far: a huge collection of over 1000 paintings from all eras and of carefully selected quality. What makes the situation even more difficult is the fact that the paintings were inherited from Gurlitt’s father Hildebrand, who was an art dealer during Nazi times. The suspicion arises whether these paintings are looted art, the collection is confiscated.

This 52-minute documentary offers the most comprehensive analysis of the case until now. In an unexcited and conciliatory manner, the film offers answers based on investigative research. New and perspective light is shed on the drama surrounding the Gurlitt collection. The film reveals the true story of Cornelius Gurlitt’s father Hildebrand Gurlitt and comes to astonishingly positive conclusions regarding the supposed “Nazi Stolen Art Dealer”. Internal protocols document that the entire case is hanging on a silk thread of accusations of supposed tax evasion, which until today have yet to be proven. The investigation of Gurlitt’s collection is of mere symbolic character. The parties concerned all know that, in most cases, it is almost impossible to really identify who the paintings’ previous owners were.

GURLITT AND THE SECRET OF THE NAZI TREASURE is a story about uncertainty and insecurity in dealing with the past, the inability of overcoming it, and the impossibility of providing justice for all.
Genre Art, History
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2014
Director Maurice Philip Remy
Screenplay Maurice Philip Remy
Cast Dietrich Gurlitt, Özlem Gezer, Denis Trierweiler, Wesley Fisher, Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Thierry Bajou
Producers Leopold Hoesch, Sebastian Dehnhardt
Production Company BROADVIEW TV, in co-production with ARTE Deutschland TV/Baden-Baden
Length 52 min
Format HD, color, 16:9
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, French

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Trailer
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