Gottfried Helnwein and the Dreaming Child

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Throughout the first third of Lisa Kirk Colburn’s doc on Austrian painter and photographer Gottfried Helnwein, all of the talking-head interviewees agree that the visual artist was the perfect fit to design the Israeli Opera’s production of Hanoch Levin’s The Child Dreams. (Both men’s work explored thematic obsessions with the lost innocence of youth.) This opinion becomes sorely tested, however, as Helnwein’s elaborate vision bumps up against practical concerns and meets with resistance—a conflict that this superficial portrait glosses over almost as much as it reduces Helnwein to simply being a determined, intransigent creative type.

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