Recently, Germany and the world witnessed the news about a treasure trove of priceless artworks stashed away in a dingy Munich flat hidden among piles of rotting food. These art pieces were believed to be looted by the Nazis during WWII.
Against this real-life drama backdrop, George Clooney’s Monuments Men, a WWII film based on a true story of a US platoon charged with recovering valuable artworks the Nazis looted during the war, is set to be one of the pictures featured in the coming Berlin Film Festival in February.
According to the event’s organizers, Clooney is expected on the red carpet for the 64th year of the annual filmfest which will run from February 6-16 for the showing of his new movie described as a “Nazi-era art thriller”.
Clooney’s movie fits together with the recent art hoard mystery said to be numbering to over 1,400 art pieces, all works of renowned artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Chagall and had thought to be lost or destroyed. The stash in the Munich flat, reported to be owned by a certain recluse named Cornelius Gurlitt, may have been taken by the Nazis from Jewish art collectors forcibly or in exchange for a small amount or some may even had come from museums, seized by the Nazis as part of their strike on modernist “degenerate” art.
As what Dieter Kosslick, the festival’s director, said in a statement:
“Over five million cultural assets stolen by the Nazis were returned to their countries of origin in the years following World War II.”
“As the recent discovery in Munich demonstrates, the art theft of that time is as current as ever. ‘The Monuments Men’ finally gives this little-known subject a worldwide audience.”
The unit depicted in the film, made up of seven museum directors, curators and art historians, were assigned by the Allies to recover art masterpieces from the enemy lines and give them to their rightful owners.
Clooney is not just a star in Monuments Men, he is also its director and co-writer. ith him in the cast are Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and John Goodman. The movie was filmed in Germany and will premiere in the United States on February 7.
On the other hand, the festival’s organizers, better known as Berlinale, announced Tuesday that the festival will be opened on February 6 by Wes Anderson’s all-star romp, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.