Ben Oliver

Banner image for The Painter and the Thief

The Painter and the Thief

Do me a favour and sit down, okay?
01 January 2022

An artist strikes a friendship with a man who stole two of her paintings from an art gallery.

The best documentaries have premises that read like fiction, and this one’s a doozy. The film isn’t quite as bombastic as you might think however; it’s a delicately made portrait of two people trying to come to terms with themselves and with the role of art in their lives.

There are some unforgettable sequences in this film, it’s a remarkable piece of work. The thief sees a portrait of himself and breaks down in tears while the artist cannot stop painting while her life falls apart around her.

What starts as a quirky unlikely story becomes a moving, perspective-altering tale as events play out. Fab stuff, a must see.