TV movie review: Vincent Van Gogh: Painted with words

This movie came out in 2010 by the BBC but I only just learned of it this week. More of a docudrama treatment but one that is very heart touching.

Told in the actual words of Vincent, his brother and family and those whose letters to and from Vincent had survived, this is a very intimate portrait of one of the most talented of artists.

Vincent was protrayed by one of the very best actors of his generation, Benedict Cumberbach. For those of you who have only watched him either as Sherlock or Dr Strange you really need to dig into his other films.

By using the actual words we get a strangely intense look at the man and the troubles he dealt with his entire life. A son of a strick minister, he for a time tried to be one himself. He was too kind hearted to really follow in his father’s footsteps though. Too creative and yes too troubled.

Today we understand that Vincent suffered with BiPolar or Maniac Depression, something that seems to be the hallmark of almost all of those truly talented in the arts. Today we would give him medications and therapy but then they placed him in various mental hospitals, sometimes involutarily and sometimes at his own wish.

The insights into why his style changed and why he did the pieces he did is both heart wrenching and intriquing. A worth watch and maybe it should be something shown in schools to both students of art and those who wish to go into medicine to treat those with mental issues. A very thought provoking movie.


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