Freep Film Festival: Beauty and Ruin

Does art matter to a city fighting for its life? This film follows the battle over the artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts as the city faced bankruptcy in 2013. With pensions of retired city workers at risk in the bankruptcy and creditors clamoring for the sale of art, the stage is set for a titanic tug-of-war for control of the DIA’s city-owned paintings. With unique access to top staff at the DIA and all the principal players in the bankruptcy, “Beauty and Ruin” is the riveting story of an astonishing art museum in the context of a failing city, and an authoritative behind-the-scenes look at the crisis that could have destroyed the DIA. Michigan premiere.

2017. 1 hour, 15 minutes. Directed by Marc de Guerre. Unrated; nothing objectionable.

The fifth annual Freep Film Festival arrives April 11-15 at a variety of venues centered in greater downtown Detroit. Full schedule, links to buy tickets and more at