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Girl with Black Balloons

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Reclusive artist finds her voice

Image of Girl with Black Balloons
The Girl With The Black Balloons

Document

The Girl With The Black Balloons

Corinne van der Borch/USA/2010/61 min/tbc

The accidental discovery of the unknown and reclusive artist, Bettina Bashyl, who has been living on the 5th floor of New York’s infamous Chelsea Hotel for 40 years, is the focus of van der Borch’s documentary, which begins as a character study of an elderly eccentric but instead chronicles the unlikely friendship between two very different women.

The first film from Dutch artist, van der Borch, Girl with Black Balloons showcases Bashyl’s talents and history, as the documentary attempts to discover why she became a virtual recluse for four decades. Whilst the answer soon becomes clear; it was to create art, and while none of her pieces have ever been presented in a gallery for fear of plagiarism, it’s Bashyl’s dedication to her calling that is her downfall, as her work ethic is revealed to be the reason she sacrificed her social life. With her apartment serving as a museum of her work, the documentary follows her as a series of events force her to rethink and better her life as the realisation of the consequences of a life committed to creating unseen art finally dawns. Thoughtful and sensitive, this documentary is a fitting tribute to a truly original woman.

Showing @ Filmhouse, 17th of June, 17:30, 19th of June, 18:15

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