Jewish Film Festival
Portrait of Wally
“Portrait of Wally,” Egon Schiele’s tender, extraordinary picture of his mistress, Walburga (“Wally”) Neuzil, is the pride of the Leopold Museum in Vienna. But for 13 years the painting was locked up in New York, caught in a legal battle between the Austrian Museum and the Jewish family from whom the Nazis seized the painting in 1939. This gripping and suspenseful doc traces the history of this iconic image—from Schiele’s gesture of affection toward his young lover, to the theft of the painting from Lea Bondi, a Jewish art dealer fleeing Vienna for her life, to the post-war confusion and subterfuge that evoke The Third Man, to the surprising resurfacing of “Wally” on loan to the Museum of Modern Art in 1997. PORTRAIT OF WALLY is a non-fiction bombshell that plays like a great legal thriller.
Austria | USA, 2012, 90 min, In English, Directed by Andrew Shea
“Remarkable…riveting…part whodunit complete with fascinating sleuthing and part morality tale. An astonishing and informative film.”
– Tom Freudenheim, THE JEWISH DAILY FORWARD