The Painter and The Thief

  • Screening Dates: 8th April, 6pm  //  15th April, 8pm
  • Starring: Barbora Kysilkova, Karl-Bertil Nordland
  • Directed by: Benjamin Ree
  • Running time: 107 mins
  • Rating: M
  • Language: English & Norwegian with English subtitles

In 2015, a pair of thieves broke into an Oslo art gallery in broad daylight and stole two hyperrealist paintings by the Czech painter Barbora Kysilkova. It was reported on Norwegian news as a brazen heist by master criminals. The ringleader, a heavily tattooed heroin addict called Karl Bertil-Nordland, was put on trial. In court, Kysilkova walked over and asked him why he stole her paintings – his answer: “because they were beautiful.” She then invited him to pose for a portrait after he is released from prison.

So begins this astonishing, emotionally electric documentary about the unexpected friendship between artist and thief. Filmed over four years, this is an intimate and electrically charged study of artist and muse as the perspective shifts between painter and thief. “She sees me very well, but she forgets I can see her too,” says Nordland.      

– Cath Clarke THE GUARDIAN