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THE MISSING PIECE: The Truth About the Man Who Stole The Mona Lisa (Movie) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Genre:
 
Director:
 
Length: 86 minutes
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/ 5


User Rating
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We liked?


A really interesting look at a piece of forgotten history.

Not so much?


A few things seem out of place, such as kitschy graphics in between scenes.


Final Fiendish Findings?

THE MISSING PIECE: The Truth About the Man Who Stole The Mona Lisa is a compelling documentary that truly seeks to reach the heart of a piece of history that many of us know nothing about. While there were parts of the documentary that I didn’t enjoy as much as others (for instance, the little sound effects and graphics seemed a bit out of place), for the most part I found it to be a grand tale, and well worth watching for art and history buffs alike.

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Posted March 12, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings?
 
 

I love me a good documentary, especially one that really sheds light on something entirely new to me. In this day and age, many people don’t even realize that the Mona Lisa had ever been stolen, much less by whom and why. Filmmaker Joe Medeiros has spent a good portion of his life chasing the answers to just that, and now he is finally ready to share his findings with the world. THE MISSING PIECE: The Truth About the Man Who Stole The Mona Lisa is the result of Medeiros’ thirty year obsession with finding out how and why Vincenzio Peruggia, a common laborer, was able to succeed in “the greatest art heist in modern times.”

The story begins with Joe Medeiros himself, and how he came across the story of the Mona Lisa’s theft in the 1970’s. All along, he intended to make a film about what he found to be a truly fascinating story. As Medeiros tells his own story, he gradually explains how his early attempts at a fictional screenplay have eventually become the documentary that you see today. As he explains, it occurred to him that learning what actually happened was more interesting to him that making up his own account. Unfortunately, no one had ever bothered to make an account of what really happened, so it was up to him to dig, and dig some more, to uncover the true events that occurred so long ago.

Because the theft occurred a century ago, not finding any witnesses was pretty much a given. However, there are other ways to find things out, for the determined. In addition to an in depth search on the thief himself, Vuncenzo Peruggia, Medeiros travelled to Italy to meet with members of Peruggia’s family, walked the hallways of the Louvre, where the theft occurred, and even studied accounts that there were others involved. What results is a very thorough study that includes a lot of largely unknown history, a sympathetic look at a loving family, and some rather surprising facts about both the criminal and the crime.

I personally found the film to be quite captivating. Rather than coming across as a rambling recitation of long past events, THE MISSING PIECE walks you through both the theft itself and Medeiros journey to uncover the truth about it, as if you were right there. There are constant surprises, and a lot of emotion – particularly from Peruggia’s family. I was especially shocked to learn what sort of sentence Peruggia received for stealing what is essentially a priceless work of art, but it was surprising to me to learn the positive effects that the theft had as well. This is truly an interesting story, and I enjoyed watching it unfold.

THE MISSING PIECE: The Truth About the Man Who Stole The Mona Lisa is a compelling documentary that truly seeks to reach the heart of a piece of history that many of us know nothing about. While there were parts of the documentary that I didn’t enjoy as much as others (for instance, the little sound effects and graphics seemed a bit out of place), for the most part I found it to be a grand tale, and well worth watching for art and history buffs alike.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)