Mona Lisa hid in the French countryside. David was encased in a bombproof brick shelter. They’re two renowned “refugees” in this enlightening new documentary about the fate of Europe’s artwork during World War II. Based on the book by scholar Lynn H. Nicholas and crisply narrated by Joan Allen, the film details how Hitler (an art-school reject) systematically plundered private (often Jewish) collections and public museums while ingenious art-lovers raced to circumvent him; later the Allies unleashed furious bombing campaigns that threatened scores of European monuments. Europa reveals that the survival of our cultural heritage was nothing short of miraculous.
Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen, Nicole Newnham