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Angel Wagenstein: Art is a Weapon

Film & Film History, Jewish Film, Jewish Highlights, World Affairs, Art, Europe, Politics, Holocaust
Andrea Simon
84 minutes


Official Selection
New York Jewish Film Festival
Washington Jewish Film Festival
Jewish Film Festival Berlin-­‐Brandenburg



"Every revolution is an adventure." - Angel Wagenstein

As a teenager in wartime Bulgaria, Angel Wagenstein commanded a daredevil Jewish partisan brigade, surviving capture and torture by fascist police. When post-war dreams of a socialist utopia turned to dust, his films became a kind of covert resistance against the brutality of the Stalinist era. This is one of the great untold stories of world cinema: at 94, Wagenstein is still a man of massive charm and ferocious intelligence, a passionate witness to history and influential voice in the debate on Europe’s rocky post-communist future. Intimate conversations, excerpts from his films, and rare archive materials inform this visually striking and provocative documentary on a remarkable artist.



Andrea Simon (Director, Producer) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has explored the interaction between politics, culture, and religion in a variety of times and places. Simon's films include many museum commissions (from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the National Gallery of Art, and The Jewish Museum) as well as the wryly subversive ethnographic chronicle Koriam’s Law (Grand Prize at Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival), PBS arts specials Destination Mozart: A Night At The Opera With Peter Sellars (Grand Prize, Montreal Festival of Films on Art), and Tales From The Shadow World on Indonesian art and culture. Talk to Me: Americans in Conversation was broadcast nationally on PBS as part of the DEMOCRACY PROJECT series. As Senior Producer of Bloomberg TV’s arts show MUSE, Andrea profiled 110 major artists including Laurie Anderson, Leonard Cohen, Umberto Eco, Philip Glass, Günter Grass, Philip Roth, and Kehinde Wiley.


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