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Art, politics and motorcycles: on the occasion of his 90th birthday John Berger or The Art of Looking is an intimate portrait of the writer and art-critic whose ground-breaking work on seeing has shaped our understanding for over five decades. How paintings become narratives and stories turn into images, rarely does anybody demonstrate this as poignantly as Berger. The seeing is his life subject, the “looking eye” his intellectual burning glass. From conviction he lived and worked for decades in a small mountain village in the French Alps. The nearness to nature and the world of the peasants belonged antipodically to him as well as his motorcycle that for him deals so much with presence, and so with drawing and writing. Covering an astonishing range of topics and art-forms, Berger’s work is founded also on artistic dialogues. Echoing some of these most unusual and astonishing collaborations birthday John Berger or The Art of Looking introduces Berger’s art of looking with theatre wizard Simon McBurney, film-director Michael Dibb, visual artist John Christie, cartoonist Selçuk Demiral, photographer Jean Mohr as well as two of his children, film-critic Katya Berger and the painter Yves Berger. The film’s prelude and starting point is Bergers mind-boggling experience of the restored vision after a successful cataract removal surgery. There, in the cusp of the clouding eyesight, Berger re-discovers - already over 80 - the irredeemable wonder of seeing. Realised as a portrait in works and collaborations, this creative documentary takes a different approach to biography, with John Berger leading in his favorite role of the storyteller.

  • Currently 3.2/5
(5 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 7.3/10
Released: November 9, 2016
Runtime: 54 min
Genres: Documentary
Countries: Germany
Companies: BBC Films Ma.Ja.De Filmproduktion ZDF/Arte
Cast: John Berger Selçuk Demirel Katya Berger Andreadakis Michael Dibb
Crew: Cordelia Dvorak

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