THE ART STAR AND THE SUDANESE TWINS (Pietra Brettkelly, New Zealand). 98 minutes. Monday (April 21), 9:45 pm; April 24, 1:30 pm, Cumberland. Rating: NNNNN
See brilliant, privileged installation artist Vanessa Beecroft arrange human nudes and the term "artistic exploitation" gains new meaning.
Watch her arrange Sudanese subjects in order to shed light on the slaughter in Darfur and the issue of exploitation gets more complex.
Follow her attempt to arrange the adoption of the Sudanese twins she breastfeeds on her first visit to Darfur -- her newborn is back home in America (!) -- and your head spins.
Those are just three of the many layers of this dizzying and dazzling meditation on art, inequality and responsibility. Director Pietra Brettkelly offers a nuanced portrait of the art star. Beecroft is not a villain -- her heart is as big as her ego, and during a revealing conversation between her and her increasingly estranged husband, we get a grip on her internal logic.
Her artwork is stunning, and the film is gorgeously photographed by Jacob Bryant, who taps into the intrinsically problematic aesthetics of black and white. Awesome.