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UNO HELMERSSON

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THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF (2021)
Starring Barbora Kysilkova, Karl-Bertil Nordland, Øystein Stene, Linda Ville Marie Ruud and Bjørn Inge Nordland. Directed by Benjamin Ree.

When two paintings are stolen from Oslo-based artist Barbora Kysilkova, the police catch the thieves within a few days. But the paintings are never found. Barbora attends the court case hoping to find clues for where they can be but finds herself compelled to walk over to one of the criminals to ask another question: “I wonder if I could paint you?” Thief Karl-Bertil answers without hesitation: “That would be possible.”

Thus begins the relationship between an artist and her unlikely muse—which soon evolves into an even more unlikely friendship. Barbora eventually becomes Karl-Bertil’s closest ally when he is severely hurt in a car crash and needs full time care. Filmed over three years, the documentary follows a remarkable story of human connection that takes turns that one could never have imagined.

REVIEWS The Painter and the Thief - A strange, joyful examination of an artist and her muse

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