Gauguin - I am a Savage
The painter Gauguin (1848-1903) is regarded as one of the most important pioneers of modernism. He painted some of his most famous pictures in Tahiti. They depict the fantasy of an erotic and exotic South Sea paradise. At that time, his art was considered "barbaric" and his lifestyle outrageous. This documentary charts the unusual life of this self-taught artist. Paul Gauguin's artistic career is more than unusual. The Frenchman initially worked as a stockbroker in Paris. But when the strictures of family life and the hypocrisy of bourgeois society became unbearable for him, he abandoned his wife and children to devote himself entirely to his art. First, he moved to Brittany, where he and his student Emile Bernard developed the style of that became known as Synthetism. Then he emigrated to French Polynesia, where he was particularly fascinated by the island of Tahiti. Gauguin dreamed of the life of a "savage" in the pure, lush and beautiful world of indigenous peoples whose way of life seemed untouched by modern aberrations and Christian taboos. But when he arrived at the other end of the world, he found that the supposed pristine primitiveness he so longed for had long been lost. So he reinvented it. The documentary shows the painful discrepancy between a disappointing reality and an almost existential urge to use art to create an ideal world. Drawing on archival material and various paintings, the film describes the life and career of the artist. Animated sequences illustrate the artist's obsessions, fantasies and aesthetic inspirations and relate them to his works.