BRATTLEBORO — Epsilon Spires and the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) will present a screening of Hilma by Swedish director Lasse Hallström, on Saturday, May 21, at 8 p.m. in Epsilon Spires' outdoor cinema.
The film provides a nuanced portrait of the revolutionary female artist Hilma af Klint, only recently recognized as the earliest pioneer of modern abstract art.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Ben & Jerry's Foundation, sliding-scale or pay-as-you-can tickets are available for those who self-identify as experiencing financial hardship.
Hilma explores af Klint's innovative artistic practice, her deep commitment to theosophy - a form of occultism popular in Europe around the turn of the century - and her homosexual romantic life and close circle of female artists.
Af Klint was born in 1862 in Sweden, where she lived and worked until her death in 1944. She lived through a period of drastic social, political, and artistic change across Europe. Hilma delves into the complexities and challenges of being an educated and talented woman artist and intellectual during this period in which women's independence, professionalism, and rights were highly contested.
Hallström first gained recognition for directing nearly all the music videos of world-renowned Swedish pop group ABBA. Hallström has also directed acclaimed independent films, including What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Chocolat (2000), and Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009).
He has been nominated for several Academy Awards, including best director and best adapted screenplay for My Life as a Dog (1988) as well as best director for The Cider House Rules (2000), which was filmed in the Brattleboro area.
“I've spent several years trying to understand the mystery of Hilma af Klint. This is a story about an unwavering search for the truth about humanity and the universe, at a time when men set all the rules,” Hallström has said of the new film. “Despite so many obstacles, Hilma created art that influences our lives today. My ambition is for the audience to experience these struggles with all their senses.”
According to a recent New York Times review of the film, Hallström has achieved an emotionally powerful image of af Klint.
The upcoming screening offers the opportunity for all art and film lovers to experience af Klint's remarkable story in a comfortable picnic-like setting. Restrooms and refreshments will be available. In the case of rain, this event will be moved indoors.
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online at epsilonspires.org or in person at Epsilon Spires.