Andres Veiel's film on late German artist debuted at 2017 Berlinale
Andres Veiel's film on artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) has earned top honors at the German Film Awards.
Beuys won the 'Lola' for best documentary at a ceremony Thursday night, along with the Lola for best editing. The film documents one of the leading German artists of the 20th century, who became known for challenging performance artworks, installations and sculpture. Nonfictionfilm.com screened the film at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival, where it premiered.
The movie is an exhilarating portrait of a unique truth-teller.
In his New York Times review, critic Glenn Kenny wrote, "This documentary... using mostly archival footage, makes a strong case for Beuys, emphasizing the social conscience at work in his art more than the postmodern prankishness," adding, "Even if you don’t need Beuys justified or explained to you, the movie is an exhilarating portrait of a unique truth-teller."
Critic Robert Abele, writing in the Los Angeles Times, took a less charitable view: "Andres Veiel's documentary "Beuys," plays like a fan's flip book divorced from meaningful resonance."
The trailer is below:
As a teenager in the 1930s, Beuys joined the Hitler Youth movement and later served in the Luftwaffe during World War II. Post war he became an anti-establishment figure with a liberal view of the importance of art in a democracy.
Beuys, released by Kino Lorber, is available online through YouTube and Google Play.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.