There Are No Fakes (2019)

There Are No Fakes (2019)

The Tiger Kings of the Canadian art world

The Very Best

8.3

Movie

English
Documentary
2019
JAMIE KASTNER
Kevin Hearn
113 min

What it's about

Norval Morrisseau was the first Indigenous Canadian artist to be taken seriously in the art world. By the turn of this century his work commanded tens of thousands of dollars. So when Barenaked Ladies keyboardist Kevin Hearn learned his prized painting was a forgery, he sued. But as Jamie Kastner's doc reveals, there was a cottage industry in fake Morrisseaus, an industry that flourished unchecked for years, feeding on greed, exploitation, racism and contempt.

The take

The highly unusual story of this documentary starts with Kevin Hearn, a member of the band Barenaked Ladies, realizing that his painting by famous Canadian Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau is a fake. When he sues the collector he bought it from, he starts a series of inquiries that unravel a story that gets progressively darker: drug dealing, organized crime, addiction, sexual abuse, and completely crazy characters (reminiscent of Tiger King).

Behind all of that, There Are No Fakes is about the exploitation not only of Indigenous art but of Indigenous people in Canada in general.

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