Oft times we see many trailers for movies that never actually come to our theaters here in Florence, so I was delighted to see that The Monuments Men was scheduled to start recently at the Swamp Fox.  I was sick at the time with the dreaded Yuck and then came the ice, but happily we got to see it last Sunday evening before it could  get away.  If you are not familiar with it–just a recap.  During the last year or so of WWII, George Clooney, who I believe may have been running the Met at the time convinced Roosevelt that someone had to go see if they could do something about where Hitler was storing all the art he was stealing from private citizens, mostly Jews, and many of the most important galleries, churches etc. all around Northern Europe.  To do this he gathered up people he knew in architecture, sculpture, dance, etc. to go and look, a total of seven, plus a German speaking driver that they found.  One of the guys, an Englishman, late from Downton Abby, said it was like a treasure hunt–true, but in the middle of a war zone.

At first I thought I was disappointed in it,it seemed like a documentary;  but as the days go on I can’t seem to get it out of my mind.  They were trying to find the pieces to save them and to give them back to their owners.  In some cases those owners were families, people; but sometimes, the owners were all of us.  The idea that someone might have been willing to and did torch a warehouse full of works by artists such as Picasso and Rembrant is unthinkable.  They kept saying that the Allied forces were not fighting to just save land, but our culture.  That’s really heavy stuff.

So upon consideration, not only would I recommend this movie, but I will say that I think that it might be an important movie to see and not just for us artists.  From the beginning you will know how it ends, but you may have trouble forgetting it. (FYI there is a book and a companion book Saving Italy.  Watch this space for more literary discussion.)