Event Calendar
August 19, 2004
The Malibu Times
Arts
"Ninth November Night" opens in Malibu
Documentary about Holocaust paintings opens at new Malibu Theater, benefiting the Museum of Tolerance
The film tells the story of famed Austrian painter Gottfried Helnwein, obsessed with a mission to use his art to preserve the memory of Holocaust persecutions.
Ninth November Night
Installation, 1988, 400 x 6000 cm / 157 x 2362'', between Ludwig Museum and Cologne Cathedral, Cologne, each panel 370 x 250 cm, 146 x 98 inch
Helnwein, whose work is exhibited in many international museums, is widely recognized for his art.
But it has been his hard-hitting images of Jewish sufferings in the Holocaust and his art attacking Nazis and neo-Nazis that have made him a widely discussed and controversial figure in the European art world. The film deals in large part with his art installation, “Ninth November Night,” a heroic (more than 150 meters long and four meters high) series of photographs of children’s faces book-ended with pages from the Nazis’ “Book Of Races.” The work has been importantly exhibited in such art capitols as Berlin, the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Musee de L’Elysee in Lausanne and the Ludwig Museum in Cologne.
The art installation was desecrated during its first exhibition in Cologne and is now shown with the vandalizations (slitting the throats of some of the children depicted), visible as a reminder that the mindless hatreds continue, the producers said.
Helnwein and Lohner, who grew up in Austria and Germany respectively after World War II, and Guttmann, who was a child in Nazi Germany, undertook the documentary “to help reinforce the historic importance of events too awful ever to be forgotten, but which some people think are too awful to be remembered,” Guttmann noted.
“We had great support from many Germans and Austrians, and the Austrian Government and the Austrian Consul General here helped us financially,” Lohner said. “The resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe makes this a compelling time to show how the power of art can hold us to our conscience.”
Actors/filmmakers Maximillian Schell, Sean Penn and Jason Lee appear as “witnesses” in the film, with Schell reading the words of Simon Wiesenthal who has encouraged and praised Helnwein’s mission of remembrance.
“Ninth November Night” will be shown at 3:15 p.m. daily at the New Malibu Theatre beginning Saturday through Aug.27, and the proceeds from attendance will go to support the Museum of Tolerance. Admission is $5.
Ninth November Night
2003




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