Max Beckmann: Departure
SCR Michael Trabitzsch
CAM Luca Faes, Justyna Feicht, Ralf Noack
ED Dieter Dehn
MUS Lutz Möller
PROD CO ARTE / Epo-Film Produktionsgesellschaft / Norddeutscher Rundfunk / Prounen Filmproduktion
Max Beckmann is one of the greatest painters of the 20th century, but his art is not as friendly as many of his better-known peers. As the Yale Dictionary of Art puts it: “Beckmann’s art is epic, dealing with great human themes; it is also a personal response to daily life and to contemporary themes; it depends on a private, unexplained repertoire of characters and symbolic objects. He developed for himself a grand theatrical manner combining traditional and modern elements. His paintings are grave assertions of the human spirit in the face of oppression. He himself spoke of them in contradictory terms, as my own ‘sloughed off skin’ and as ‘a game of hiding oneself.’” Finally we have a film that opens up Beckmann’s world and that allows us to confront with great insight his bold canvases, especially the massive masterly triptychs now scattered among diverse museums.
Director Michael Trabitzsch also draws on a considerable amount of new material—diaries and letters that are brought to dramatic life; photographs and filmed material of Beckmann that have never surfaced before—to bring to life this giant of modernism and his quintessential search for the underlying truth of things.