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Portrait of Wally

Egon Schiele's painting in Portrait of Wally

The story of a painting that became a lightning rod for the art world, Andrew Shea’s doc recounts the dizzying journey of Egon Schiele’s Portrait of Wally—from Lea Bondi’s private collection to Nazi thievery, and from shady postwar dealings to the walls of the Museum of Modern Art, where Bondi’s heirs sought restitution in 1997. Though overly dependent on a roundelay of talking heads, the film escalates into an ace legal thriller, spinning a web of shame that snags everything from the Austrian government to America’s most beloved not-for-profits. Even after an all-is-forgiven $19 million legal settlement, the ghosts of greed and anti-Semitism continue to haunt not only the Schiele, but an entire era of institutional arrogance.

Follow Eric Hynes on Twitter: @eshynes

Release details

Duration: 90 mins

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