Synopsis by Mark Deming
Noted experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer examines the often fragile line between art and politics in this documentary produced during a sojourn in Southern France. Resisting Paradise puts its primary focus on two artists who lived in the South of France and were strongly influenced by its beauty and light -- the fauvist master Henri Matisse and contemporary success Pierre Bonnard. In interviews, Bonnard views art as an essentially apolitical pursuit, and regards war and governmental corruption as matters not worthy of his attention. However, Matisse felt differently, as both the artist and his family were active members of the French Resistance during World War II, taking their lives in their hands to combat fascism in Europe. Hammer also interviews other figures who confronted the Nazi threat during the war and offers her own views on creative people who stand by as evil manifests itself. Resisting Paradise was screened as part of the 2004 San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
artist, courage, French [nationality], hero, Holocaust, Nazi, recollection, resistance, resistance-fighters, world-war