First Run Features | Release Date: November 23, 2012
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Summary: "The world is a haunted house, and Helnwein is our tour guide through it." - Sean Penn Gottfried Helnwein and the Dreaming Child is a feature documentary about the world famous Austrian artist, Gottfried Helnwein, and his contentious role as Production Designer for a never before seen opera in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2010. A violent production, The Child Dreams was written by Israel’s most famous playwright, the late Hanoch Levin, and portrays the hopes and dreams of children in search of freedom and peace. For Helnwein, the child has always been the symbol of innocence and innocence betrayed, a motif that persists throughout much of his work. But when the Israeli Opera’s creative team casts a woman to play the child, Helnwein must fight to preserve the opera’s integrity and Levin’s original vision. "Helnwein is one of the few exciting painters we have today." - Norman Mailer "Helnwein is a master of surprised recognition." - William S. Burroughs "Masterfully incorporating everything from painting to performance to photography, regularly causing art world outcry and public fury…his art is successful less for its evident tendency to provoke than for its extraordinary ability to perplex." - Artweek "Gottfried Helnwein is my mentor - on any artistic thing I've done. His fight for expression and stance against oppression are reasons why I chose him as an artistic partner." - Musician Marilyn Manson "For Helnwein, creativity is not a vocation but a mission. His subject matter is the human condition. The metaphor for his art is dominated by the image of the child, but not the carefree innocent child of popular imagination. Helnwein instead creates the profoundly disturbing yet compellingly provocative image of the wounded child. The child scarred physically and the child scarred emotionally from within." - Robert Flynn Johnson, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
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