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January 22, 2004

VES Faculty Screening: Albert Alcalay

January 22 (Thursday) 7 pm

Albert Alcalay: Self-Portraits

Directed by Allen Moore, Rob Tranchin, Rob Eustis
US, 2003, color, 57 min.

This new documentary reflects the extraordinary life and engaging personality of former Harvard faculty member Albert Alcalay through a first-person look at his development as an artist.

Forced into a life of hiding as a Serbian Jew hunted by Nazis in Fascist Italy during World War II, Alcalay was eventually captured and sent to a concentration camp, where he was inspired by a fellow prisoner to study painting. After the war, he emigrated to the United States, where he has lived and worked in Boston since.

Self-Portraits examines the ways in which Alcalay’s artistic language has been shaped by the American landscape, by memory, and by loss. It is an artistic biography of a man who, although well into his eighties and dealing with the effects of macular degeneration, continues to paint vibrant landscapes in which “lament… is transfigured into praise of life.”

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