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Five Men and a Caravaggio

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Five Men and a Caravaggio

Ευρωπαϊκή Πρεμιέρα European Premiere
Ντοκιμαντέρ / Documentary essay, UK, China, 2018, 74′, 6:9, Color Dolby Digital, Κινεζικά, Αγγλικά / Chinese, English

Σκηνοθεσία / Direction Xiaolu Guo Σενάριο / Screenplay Xiaolu Guo Μοντάζ / Editing Lizi Hesling Φωτογραφία / Photography Xiaolu Guo Μουσική / Music Philippe Ciompi & Matt Scott Ήχος / Sound Philippe Ciompi Παραγωγός / Producer Xiaolu Guo Συμμετέχουν / Featuring Chen Ming (the Painter), Vanni Bianconi (the Poet), Simon de Reyer (the Photographer), Stephen Barker (the Philosopher), Saleh Addonia (the Writer) Προέλευση ταινίας / Film Source Xiaolu Guo Films

A Chinese artisan, in Dafen village in Southern China, reproduces by hand Caravaggio’s John in the Wilderness, aka Saint John the Baptist. His studio is his home, and his family all participate in varying ways in the cottage industry of reproducing western art for consumers. In London, a Swiss Italian poet, unveils the Chinese painter’s copy, which he has received as a 40th birthday gift. The poet sees a youthful image of himself in the work, but he fears the copy does not capture the real essence of the original. His philosopher friend, formerly an amateur painter, says he can repaint the copy. The film then follows the philosopher repainting the copy, and two other friends, an Eritrean writer, who spurns all religion but yearns for artistic redemption, and a French photographer, whose nude wilderness self-portraits echo the Caravaggio masterpiece. The events in London are paralleled with a slice of life depiction of the Chinese artisan’s family in Shenzhen, reproducing John in the Wilderness and dreaming of a better life.

Director present

The 9th Athens Avant-Garde Film Festival is carried out in the context of “Cinephilia in the New Age II” which is funded by the European Union — European Regional Development Fund (Operational Programme ROP ATTIKI of NSRF 2014-2020). All actions are carried out under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.