Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Barbara Hammer

Resisting Paradise

Resisting Paradise

Barbara Hammer. Resisting Paradise, 2003.

What are our responsibilities during a time of political crisis? War forces people to make choices. WWII in Southern France is the setting for this film that highlights the painters Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard along with war resisters and refugees. They all lived or passed through Cassis and other towns along the Mediterranean Coast where light made a paradise of shimmering reflections. What did they do in time of war? Viewers will be challenged to look at their own choices in troubling times Shot in the Mediterranean fishing village of Cassis, France, the film recounts the histories of French and German Resistance fighters as well as those of the painters Bonnard and Matisse, who continued to produce landscapes, portraits, and still lifes in this land of light and beauty, even as the Nazis occupied France. How can art exist during a time of political crisis? The unique Resistance stories of the wife, daughter and son of Henri Matisse are highlights of this compelling documentary noted for its painterly beauty, complex editing strategies and creative sound design by Laetitia Sonami.


Matisse, Bonnard, World War II, Fittko, Benjamin, painting, France, Resistance, film, mediterranean, politics, history, Nazis, Germany

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