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Fri, May 22


Epsilon Spires Virtual Cinema

Virtual Cinema: The Painter & The Thief

Desperate for answers about the theft of her two paintings, a Czech artist seeks out and befriends the career criminal who stole them. After inviting her thief to sit for a portrait, the two form an improbable relationship and an inextricable bond that will forever link them.

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Virtual Cinema: The Painter & The Thief
Virtual Cinema: The Painter & The Thief

Time & Location

May 22, 2020, 12:01 AM – Jun 05, 2020, 11:59 PM

Epsilon Spires Virtual Cinema

About the event

Tickets are $3.99 - Now Streaming:

Director Q & A Coming Soon! 


When two paintings by Czech naturalist Barbora Kysilkova are stolen from an Oslo art gallery, Norwegian authorities quickly identify and arrest the two thieves but find no trace of the paintings. Hoping to learn what happened, Barbora approaches one of the thieves, Karl-Bertil Nordland, at his criminal hearing. She asks if she can paint his portrait and, contrite, he agrees. What follows—over a series of portraits and many years—is an extraordinary story of human connection and friendship.

Using a structure that cleverly shifts perspectives, filmmaker Benjamin Ree unfolds the vulnerabilities of two souls who come to recognize themselves in the other—the darkness, wounds, compulsions, and self-destructive behavior. Throughout the film, our understanding of both people—and the stolen paintings—changes entirely. In life, certain aspects of human nature defy comprehension, and yet this film materializes them in a way that is accessible and transcendent.

Reviews in the Press:

"The years most moving documentary: The resulting tangle of a relationship – an experiment in compassion, empathy, the negotiation of vulnerability and the conflicting, subconscious motivations to observe and be observed – forms The Painter and the Thief, a remarkable documentary that plays more like a twisting narrative film than real-life portrait."-Adrian Horton, The Guardian

"A Tender Psychosexual Tale of Art and Ownership, nuanced and beguiling, about the various things we all take from each other." -David Ehrlich, Indiewire

Our new online screenings are an effort to stay connected while social-distancing and enjoy innovative films together while we are temporarily closed. The cost of each online ticket sold will be split between the distributor and Epsilon Spires. Each rental will directly help our venue survive through these challenging times. 

 ♥ Much gratitude to the filmmakers for their partnership, and to you, our community, for your continued support ♥ 

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