Woman in Gold isn’t just about a piece of art. It’s about remembering what can happen to families when the world isn’t paying attention.
My husband was quite adamant about seeing the movie Woman in Gold. Not because he’s a big fan of the artist Gustav Klimt or because he needed to see another Helen Mirren movie. He was insistent on not missing this film because his family lived a version of what happened in Woman in Gold, which is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
As you may know, Woman in Gold is based on the true story of Maria Altmann, a Jewish refugee who is forced to flee Vienna during World War II. She was a woman who came from a certain amount of wealth and her family, like many other well-off European families at the time, enjoyed collecting art. Much of the art of wealthy Jewish families was confiscated by the Nazis and placed either in German museums or in the homes of high level German officials. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, many families, like Altmann, tried to recover what was wrongfully taken from them. Most families didn’t own a true masterpiece like the one you may not know by name, but most probably know by sight.
This was a must-see for my husband because his family lived a version of this story. His parents and grandparents and other family members of those generations were forced to flee Nazi Germany (though some of them were not successful in trying to leave and were sent to the Nazi prison camps), leaving most of their valued possessions behind, including works of art by now well-known artists like Emil Nolde. One of those pieces of art hangs in a German museum today — his family wasn’t able to secure its return, but there is a plaque that hangs next to it reminding any viewer that it was stolen by the Nazis and should rightfully still be in the home of someone in my husband’s family today.
Seeing this movie was extremely important to him, because it serves as an accessible reminder of the many, many families who lost so much during World War II — not just material possessions, like a beautiful work of art, but also the family members who died and those who were separated and forced to flee their homes only to be sent in many directions to begin their lives again.
Woman in Gold should be a must see for history buffs, art lovers and those who care about family history.
You can win your own Blu-ray DVD copy of Woman in Gold, as well as $100 VISA gift card (a $135 value)! Leave a comment in this post, and we’ll pick one name a random to receive the prize package no later than July 20!
I was compensated for this post, but all views, which I had after I saw the movie in theater, are my own.