Synopsis by Jason Buchanan
The most elaborate and successful art heist in modern history is detailed in filmmaker Rebecca Dreyfus' cinematic account of the daring raid on Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner museum staged in the early morning hours of St. Patrick's Day, 1990. By the time the ruse of the well-organized and cleverly disguised thieves was discovered, the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum had been stripped of 13 priceless works including Vermeer's "The Gardener" -- one of only 35 works by the master known to currently exist. As respected art detective Harold Smith attempts to uncover the labyrinthine mystery surrounding the bold burglary while dealing with the frightening effects of his lifelong battle with skin cancer, the obsessive efforts of the cunning gumshoe are interwoven with interviews in which contemporary authors ponder the power of Vermeer's impressive body of work. Additional details concerning art collector Isabella Stewart's turn-of-the-century correspondence with personal advisor Bernard Berenson are voiced by actress Blythe Danner and Campbell Scott, respectively, and serve to give a more personal perspective to the investigation while simultaneously putting into context the true value and ultimate fragility of these plundered treasures.
art-theft, cancer, museum