Art Outrage 

The Satisfyingly One-Sided The Art of the Steal

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EVEN-HANDEDNESS is a total drag most of the time. In spite of all the familiar complaints so often lodged against activist documentary filmmakers, the fact is that what most of us are looking for in these kinds of films are, quite frankly, new lightning rods for our liberal indignation. To this end, allow me to submit The Art of the Steal: a compelling new doc about wealthy misanthrope Dr. Albert C. Barnes, who spent the better part of his adult life assembling what has since become one of the most enviable (and valuable) collections of post-impressionist art in the world—all the while grudgefully pledging to keep it out of the hands of all those philistines at the national museums. What unfolds following Barnes' heir-less death is a tale of conspiracy, greed, and political outrage that's so satisfyingly one-sided, you'll hardly question whether or not Barnes was entirely just in his intentions—or even consider the fact that he might have just been a total dick. As farfetched as some of its characterizations might seem, The Art of the Steal has the good sense just to run with it—and if you aren't outraged by the time the credits roll, you must be thinking too much.

The Art of the Steal (2009)
Rated NR · 101 min. · 2010
Director: Don Argott
Producer: Sheena M. Joyce

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