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John Berger: The Art of Looking

Art, politics and motorcycles - on the occasion of his 90th birthday, this is an intimate portrait of the late writer and art critic whose groundbreaking work on seeing has shaped our understanding of the concept for over five decades. The film explores how paintings become narratives and stories turn into images, and rarely does anybody demonstrate this as poignantly as Berger.

Berger lived and worked for decades in a small mountain village in the French Alps, where the nearness to nature, the world of the peasants and his motorcycle, which for him deals so much with presence, inspired his drawing and writing.

The film introduces Berger's art of looking with theatre wizard Simon McBurney, film director Michael Dibb, visual artist John Christie, cartoonist Selçuk Demiral and photographer Jean Mohr, as well as two of his children - film critic Katya Berger and the painter Yves Berger.

The prelude and starting point is Berger's mind-boggling experience of restored vision following a successful cataract removal surgery. There, in the cusp of his clouding eyesight, Berger re-discovers the irredeemable wonder of seeing.

Realised as a portrait in works and collaborations, this creative documentary takes a different approach to biography, with Berger leading in his favourite role of the storyteller.

Release date:

55 minutes

Last on

Sun 15 Jan 2017 23:30


Role Contributor
WriterCordelia Dvorák
Director of photographyPiotr Rosolowski
EditorAlfredo Castro
ProducerHeino Deckert
ProducerDaniel Saltzwedel
ParticipantJohn Berger
ParticipantSimon McBurney
ParticipantMike Dibb
ParticipantJohn Christie
ParticipantSelçuk Demiral
ParticipantJean Mohr
ParticipantKatya Berger
ParticipantYves Berger