Documentary – UK / Joint UK Premiere
Dominic Allan/UK/2011/86 min/TBC
The incredible life of the French artist Jean Marc Calvet forms the basis of Dominic Allan’s frank and mesmerising documentary, which chronicles Calvet’s quest to make up for the mistakes of his past.
Following Calvet’s successful introduction to the art world, this documentary follows him as he relives his extraordinary life of drug abuse, organised crime and prostitution before he became a famous self-taught artist, including abandoning his young son 12 years before, and his efforts to trace him.
Refreshingly honest and thoughtfully shot, CALVET is a heartfelt and unapologetic look at the astonishing life of one man who hit his lowest point, only to be reborn as a celebrated painter. Calvet is a charismatic character in the story of his own quest for happiness, forgiveness and acceptance, and under Allan’s direction, the film tackles a number of difficult subjects from abuse, to drug addiction, exploitation and abandonment with an eye for detail and a real understanding and respect for Calvet’s experiences. While the issues that soon emerge are at times distressing, and at times a little hard to comprehend, Calvet’s brutal honesty and determination are a real match for Allan’s flair for recreating past scenarios, and marrying them with the present. This film works because it’s clear from the very beginning that both men have great respect for each other and their work, and this mutual admiration emerges in many ways, from Calvet’s friendly and open demeanour, to Allan’s loyalty to his eponymous lead. This real rapport between the two men is what makes this documentary so unique, and gives it an edge that films of a similar nature don’t have. Colourful, unforgettable and unashamedly honest, CALVET proves that everyone deserves a second chance.
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