Contact 21st Philadelphia Film Festival & Philadelphia Film Society
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Philadelphia, PA 19122
N/ASales ended 10-20-2012 02:50PM
Exposing an art restitution case seventy years in the making, this historic documentary attempts to resolve an international dispute involving a 1912 Schiele portrait that was taken from its original Jewish owner during the Holocaust.
Running Time: 90 min. Director: Andrew Shea
According to Art Researcher and Investigator Willi Korte, “It is the case, out of all art restitution cases, that really shaped the discussion for the following years.” The case to which he is referring is that which surrounds Egon Schiele’s celebrated portrait of his mistress, Walburga (“Wally”) Neuzil. A subject of great debate in the art community for seventy years, Andrew Shea’s documentary paints the rich and enthralling history behind “Wally”. After being seized by Nazis in 1939, the painting became a flagship to the Leopold Museum in Vienna. Years later, it mysteriously resurfaced in New York. However, since the portrait was obtained through questionable means, its ownership is heavily disputed among Austrians, Americans, and Wally’s descendants. With moving historic accounts that seem dramatic enough to be fictional, Portrait of Wally leads its viewers on a painting’s journey, from conception to court, that takes on several heavy hitters in the art community along the way.