Based on the critically-acclaimed, award-winning Solar Dance: Genius, Forgery and the Crisis of Truth in the Modern Age by Modris Eksteins, the feature-length courtroom drama tells a story of the quest for authenticity, with a memorable twist.
In 1932 Berlin, during the dying days of the Weimar Republic, Otto Wacker, a handsome art dealer and dancer, stands trial for art fraud. He is accused of forging 32 Vincent Van Gogh paintings and selling them to the top collectors and museums of the world. He has enlisted the best experts in the field to authenticate the paintings. Among the confused public, there is great sympathy for this “man of honour.” As the trial goes on, the court, along with the shaky Republic itself, are on trial. What is real and what is fake?
Solar Dance is able to draw on a major archive of unseen material that has come to light due to initial publicity about this film. There is an interview with Otto Wacker shot in East Berlin in 1967, copious footage covering the art fraud trial of 1932, plus a radio interview with Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, discussing the trial and van Gogh.
Otto Wacker danced all his life, most often performing in that famous tale of many stories, Scheherazade. The extraordinary Wacker footage contains a previously undiscovered film of this performance.
This archive footage is combined with modern re-enactments showing the trial and Wacker’s successful efforts to involve Europe’s finest art experts in his scheme, leaving their reputations forever shattered, foreshadowing the collapse of both reason and the rule of law.