There's no getting around it: The Rape of Europa is not a cheerful holiday flick. It's more of a historical odyssey, tracing the plight of countless works of art looted by the Nazis during World War II. Some were lost, some were destroyed, many are still in limbo. While most people know something about the horrors of concentration camps during the reign of Nazi Germany, many are not as versed on the war that Hitler waged on European cultural identity. Soldiers were ordered to steal or obliterate many works of art in a massive power play aiming to extinguish diversity of ideas and also to add to the Nazis' coffers. In The Rape of Europa, documentarians trace the effects of this war on culture to the present, as families still struggle to regain artifacts that once belonged to them. The film speaks to the larger issue of cultural identity and to the meaning of art to who we are as a people. Americans may not tie our national character to the works of Matthew Barney or Jenny Holzer, but that's because nobody has ever tried to take that away from us. This film really drives that home, holiday cheer or no. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., presents the film at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8.50. Visit themodern.org.
Dec. 28-30, 2007