8/10 The fascinating true story of what may or may not be the last known painting from Leonardo da Vinci, “The Lost Leonardo” tracks the discovery of the “Salvator Mundi” painting and then tracks its sales as it has moved all around the world over the past 15 years or so. I thought this film would mainly be on the focus of finding the painting and the controversy surrounding its authentication but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that that was only the first third of the film. Director Andreas Koefoed uses the first act as just the tip of the iceberg as the rest of the film covers a wide variety of topics related to the painting ranging from but not limited to Russian oligarchs, Saudi Arabia’s tourism goals, corruption, record breaking auctions/sales, French politics, etc. The film takes fascinating turns and goes in directions the audience would not expect the film to go. While I am not a big fan of the art world and paintings in general, even I found this film to be fascinating and educational in an entertaining way. Every relevant person or group was interviewed and the only ones who didn’t appear were people or groups who turned these film makers down, which only made them look bad when you go through the relevant facts. The Louvre in Paris in particular gets exposed to have done some shady things in regard to the authentication of the painting that they still won’t own up to. If you take a car and break it down piece by piece you can figure out how much each piece costs to make, add them up and figure out the car’s worth. You can take the budget of a film by breaking down all of the costs added up to fund the film and the pay of everyone involved. You can figure out the cost of a building by all of the materials used and the man hours involved. Basically everything has a price but when it comes to paintings, they are one of the few items in the world where their value is completely subjective. The fact that we will never even know for sure if this was a da Vinci painting casts doubt on if the painting is worth what it has been sold for. The film does an excellent job breaking everything down and explaining the business aspect of the art world and how so much is shrouded in secrecy involving moving art. Money laundering is common when it comes to the art world as money moves between people without any kind of confirmation as to what exactly the money is for. Sellers and buyers remain anonymous and greed is often king. The film’s B roll footage was fantastic. My only complaints would be that the film does run a hair long and could have maybe trimmed a little bit and all but one of the people interviewed seemed to be super old. While there is nothing wrong with the experts being older (it only makes sense), it gives the film a “boomer” feeling that may turn some younger audiences off. I hope young and old people give this film a chance though because after the recent “The Alpinist”, “Show Me the Father” and now this, 2021 is turning into the year of high quality documentaries.

#TheCostOfLeonardo / #AllIsFairInLouvreAndWar / #TheMundiBlues / #TheDaVinciCodeOfSilence / #DealerOrNoDealer / #MySaudiMyChoice

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