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  Stolen
by Rebecca Dreyfus
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by Lesley Ann Patten
   
   


 
 

STOLEN

A film by Rebecca Dreyfus

Featuring the voices of Blythe Danner and Campbell Scott
Cinematography by Albert Maysles

United States, 2005, Color, 85 minutes - Digibeta

   
::  Digibeta: $350 | Beta SP / DV Cam: $300 | DVD: $250
::  DVD Purchase (with public performance license): $200
::  link to official website
::  watch the trailer
::  pressmaterial / photographs to download
   
 

In 1990, in the early morning hours after St. Patrick’s Day, thieves disguised as Boston police officers gained access to Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner museum and successfully perpetrated the largest art heist in modern history. Among the thirteen priceless paintings stolen were works by Rembrandt, Degas and Manet. But none is more sorely missed than The Concert by Johannes Vermeer, one of only 35 surviving works by the beloved Dutch master. For those who loved these paintings, particularly the rare Vermeer, the theft felt almost personal.

At the heart of the film is a very unlikely hero: Harold Smith, the most renowned art detective in the world. Despite his lifetime battle with skin cancer, the cunning and witty Smith has made this case his personal obsession. Now, with Dreyfus’s camera in tow, Smith embarks on a final journey to crack a mystery that has confounded law enforcement officials for fifteen years.

The mood is set through the reading by actors Blythe Danner and Campbell Scott of correspondence between the 19th century Grand Dame Isabella Stewart Gardner and her envoy to Europe, art aficionado Bernard Berenson. Their passion for great art, expressed in letters written during their pursuit of paintings for Gardner’s great museum, is elaborated by contemporary art historians. Among them, Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring, helps us understand the power and fragility of great art and appreciate just what the world has lost.

Harold Smith’s quest to recover the Gardner paintings takes him through the Boston criminal underground. It takes him to Ireland to investigate the theory that the Irish Republican Army, known to have a penchant for stealing Vermeers, may be involved. It takes him on wild goose chases, and precipitously close to the truth.

STOLEN takes the audience along on this thrilling journey through the worlds of art and crime, not only to solve a perplexing mystery, but also to understand the mysterious importance of art and beauty.

To see images of the missing paintings, see www.find-the-art.com.

" ***1/2 All-consuming.[with].unexpected dimensions of tonal, emotional, and psychological depth. A chilling success!" – Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

“A treasure trove of outrageous characters, rampant speculation, personal obsessions and a glimpse into the rarefied world of art collecting.” – Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter

"You can't make this stuff up... Rebecca Dreyfus' crackerjack documentary STOLEN plays like an edge-of-your-seat narrative." – City, Rochester's Alternative Weekly

“Dreyfus works magic. Should appeal not just to the legion of Vermeer fans, but to lovers of good mystery.” – John Anderson, Variety

“Fascinating.” – Johnny Leahan, Indiewire

"A fascinating look at a compelling Boston-based mystery."
– James Verniere. Boston Herald

"This globe-trotting intrigue has the makings of a splendid thriller."
– Nathan Lee, New York Times

"Keeps us tantalized. Harold Smith is utterly compelling." – Jay Carr, AM New York


AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY
Sarasota International Film Festival
BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM & BEST ORIGINAL FILM SCORE
New York/Avignon Film Festival

Los Angeles Film Festival

Montreal World Film Festival, Canada

Deauville Festival of American Film, France

Athens Film Festival, Greece

The Independent Film Festival of Boston

Newport International Film Festival

Nantucket Film Festival

Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Brazil

 

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