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New Zealand documentary filmmaker Pietra Brettkelly has produced a
vivid portrait of a flaky, if not downright neurotic,
Italian-British-American performance artist (Vanessa Beecroft) who
expends an obsessive, inhuman amount of time and excruciating effort
trying to adopt two Sudanese twin children uprooted by war and other
atrocities in Darfur Region(south-west Sudan).
Brettkelly reveals New York-based Beecroft as yet another of those
well-heeled white women (see Angelina Jolie, Madonna) who feel
compelled to 'save' children when their own biological children back
home are being raised in relative luxury by a succession of nannies and
other caregivers. In this film, the viewer can either feel repulsed by
Beecroft or harbour sympathy for her questionable motives. Even
Beecroft's husband is at odds with her.
At two years old, Beecroft's mother, who is herself unstable, abandons
her marriage and takes her child back to Italy to be raised. Decades
later, Beecroft's British father admits to not understanding his
daughter and her quest to bring Sudanese children to an unlikely place
-- the art world of far-off New York City. He suggests that Beecroft is
more interested in serving her own emotional 'needs' while ignoring the
source of the problem -- there are hundreds of thousands of other
parentless children in disastrous Darfur.
Beecroft doesn't seem to really understand the huge cultural
differences that exist in Darfur, nor does she seem to understand the
many years of savage war and loss of life (about 600,000) that have
devastated that region. She instead insists on only seeing two
'adorable' children who need to be 'saved' by her.
This is a powerful film that lets emotions linger on its sleeve. As
outstanding documentary filmmakers tend to do, Brettkelly lets you make
up your own mind about Beecroft, based on the cinematic evidence she
Tags for The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins Full Movie
, Jeffrey Deitch
, Matthu Placek
, Vanessa Beecroft
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