Ilja Repin - Schilder van de Russische ziel Short documentary , 2002, 50 min.

Ilya Repin (1844-1930), the 'Russian Rembrandt', is one of Russia's most famous and revered painters. Only this year, for the first time in the West, a special exhibition was on display - in the Groninger Museum - of this representative of social-realism, who is especially praised for his ability to capture the Russian soul in his work in a unique fashion. Director John Appel interlaces images of the realisation of the exhibition with interviews he made in Russia with admirers of the artist. Besides people from the art scene, he talks to a grandma and the janitor of a church, where an icon of Jesus that was painted by Repin sends visitors shivers down their spines. This portrait of a master painter, accompanied by delightful music, also demonstrates how painting in Russia is inextricably bound up with the culture of the common man, whom Repin finally gave a face in his paintings.

 

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    Carolijn Borgdorff
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