BEUYS: ART AS A WEAPON

Germany, 2017 (MIFF 2017, Documentaries)

Director: Andres Veiel

BEUYS: ART AS A WEAPON

'This film is about the artist of the 20th century.' – Berlin Film Journal

The felt-clad, hat-wearing German performance artist was a visionary ahead of his time, his often controversial ideas on art, culture and embodying his own 'brand' more vital than ever some 30 years after his death.

Andres Veiel's extensive new documentary offers an essential tribute to Beuys' fascinating life, tracing back from his feted gallery shows in the late 70s and early 80s back through his childhood in Nazi Germany, early breakthroughs and beyond. Crafted from hundreds of hours of video and audio, Veiel's film lets Beuys' work speak for itself through innovatively assembled archival footage, capturing his work – explaining art to a dead hare, sharing a gallery with a coyote, campaigning for the Greens – in all of its compelling, often very funny, glory. A master of self myth and a force for art as cultural provocation, Beuys' life was his greatest work, and Veiel's documentary holds his spirit in fond regard.

'The value of this documentary is not to bring something new to the table about Beuys, but in how it constructs a political view of his surroundings, in many cases adverse to him, through archive material, material that portraits his convictions and places this central character in a social dimension.' – desistfilm


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