A slow and sensitive portrait of the great Georgian primitive artist who died in 1918 and whose work is still not widely known outside Russia, Pirosmani effectively keeps its distance from the central character. Proud and lonely, Pirosmani forsakes all security to paint, exchanging his work in city bars for food, drink and a bed. His isolation is conveyed through composition and image, while his private life (alcoholism and an inability to make contact with a singer he silently worships) is hinted rather than stressed. A restrained film, possibly too non-involving for some, beautifully shot in muted colours, and composed of studies with the subjects often looking posed and self-conscious, as the artist must have seen them. It's not often that an artist gets the film he deserves.
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