Directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard
Painter Joe Boehler, a former soldier, boxer and self-taught artist, says he had to choose between killing people and creating art. This documentary is shot on the eve of a new exhibition of Boehler’s work, allowing a new generation of art lovers to discover how great artists convert trauma into something beautiful and meaningful. We accompany Boehler on his path of self-discovery, and celebrate his victories late in life.
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Dominique Othenin-Girard is an independent film director, writer and producer with more than 30 films to his credit. He left his home in Geneva, Switzerland at a young age to see the world, and his passion for humanity comes from living in many different cultures. Othenin-Girard most recently spent six years in China, where he taught at the prestigious Beijing Film Academy and was an artist-in-residence in Shanghai at the invitation of Swatch. During his time in Hollywood, Othenin-Girard became known for his expertise in horror and directed Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and The Omen 4. In Europe, he is best known for sensitive television films depicting families with members who cope with Downs syndrome. His latest film, a profile of the French painter Joseph Boehler, examines how artists turn trauma into beauty.
In Joe Boehler, I discover an oppressed man who transformed his revolt against the iniquities of society into inspirational works of art. This film builds upon the series of films about artists that I shot during my residency at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai. I am fascinated to discover the source of creative acts, and their impact on society.