In November 2016, I received an email from my great aunt’s lawyer, who was unbeknownst to me, in which he sent me a list of paintings, which belonged to my grandparents, who resided in Berlin before WWII. He stated, that he wanted to locate these works.
I was intrigued, Julius Klausner, my great grandfather, was a German manufacturer, and owned a number of rare works of art, whose traces have been lost.
When my exploration began, I had a list from 1941, an old lawyer, determination, and an innocent belief that justice will prevail.
Robert Graetz was a textile manufacturer. He owned a large collection of artworks. Innocently he thought he will survive. He remained in Germany, and was murdered. His grandson Roberto hopes to find 200 works that belonged to his grandfather.
Fascinating worlds, German and Jewish meet, big money plays, and is exposed behind the scenes of the art world, where intrigues and struggles occur, among individuals, museums, and countries, for the heirs, however, it is not just a valuable property. It is a lost part of their families, their culture, smells of their grandparents’ homes, its restoration is a matter of justice.
The film will sharpen the understanding of the extent of robbery and looting of artworks during the war, and the understanding that the Nazis attempted to erase the culture and identity of an entire people, and of today’s systems that still delay the return of the works to their rightful owners.
We will deal with the question of the location of the specific artwork in public spaces. Should artworks be exposed to the general public in museums, even at the expense of the individual? What is the true value of a work of art to its owner? Is it the monetary value? The story behind the piece, the emotional value?
The motive for the film, is the return of the artworks, but the road that will bring them back, the history, the discoveries, the sensitivities of each of the participants, that is the essence of the story.