WAAM FREE FILM: “The Desert of Forbidden Art” Saturday, March 22 at 7 pm



Directed by Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev

FREE FILM – Saturday March 22nd at 7pm at WAAM

“A must-see film for anyone interested in art” Village Voice

“A gorgeous documentary” New York Times

“An extremely eloquent and captivating documentary film” Huffington Post

“Stranger than fiction several times over….a remarkable documentary” Los Angeles Times

“The Desert of Forbidden Art is, itself, a work of art about the art world.” About.com

Watch Trailer:  http://www.desertofforbiddenart.com/

A multi award winning film that tells the incredible story of how a treasure trove of banned Soviet art worth millions of dollars is stashed in a far-off desert of Uzbekistan develops into a larger exploration of how art survives in times of oppression.  During the Soviet regime, a small group of artists remain true to their vision despite threats of torture, imprisonment and death.  Their plight inspires a frustrated young painter Igor Savitsky. Pretending to buy State-approved art, Savitsky instead daringly rescues 40,000 forbidden fellow artist’s works and creates a museum in the desert of Uzbekistan, far from the watchful eyes of the KGB. Though a penniless artist himself, he cajoles the cash to pay for the art from the same authorities who are banning it. He amasses an eclectic mix of Russian Avant-Garde art. But his greatest discovery is an unknown school of artists who settle in Uzbekistan after the Russian revolution of 1917, encountering a unique Islamic culture, as exotic to them as Tahiti was for Gauguin. They develop a startlingly original style, fusing European modernism with centuries-old Eastern traditions.


Ben Kingsley, Sally Field and Ed Asner voice the diaries and letters of Savitsky and the artists. Intercut with recollections of the artists’ children and rare archival footage, the film takes us on a dramatic journey of sacrifice for the sake of creative freedom. Described as “one of the most remarkable collections of 20th century Russian art” by the New York Times and located in one of the world’s poorest regions, today these priceless paintings are a lucrative target for Islamic fundamentalists, corrupt bureaucrats and art profiteers. The collection remains as endangered as when Savitsky first created it, posing the question – whose responsibility is it to preserve this cultural treasure?

Winner Cine Golden Eagle Award

Best Doc Palm Beach Int’l Film Fest

Audience Award Beijing Int’l Film Fest

Official Selection PBS Independent Lens 2011 Season

Watch Trailer:  http://www.desertofforbiddenart.com/

Woodstock Artists Association and Museum

28 Tinker Street, Woodstock, New York 12498 • 845-679-2940 • info@woodstockart.orghttp://www.woodstockart.org

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