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Medieval art treasures seized by the Nazis go missing at the end of World War II. Were they destroyed in the chaos of the final battles? Or were these thousand-year-old masterpieces stolen by advancing American troops? For over forty years, the mystery remained unsolved. A true detective story, "The Liberators" follows a dogged German art detective through the New York art world and military archives to the unlikeliest of destinations: a small town on the Texas prairie. Featuring interviews with Willi Korte (Portrait of Wally) and Texas attorney Dick DeGuerin, the film raises intriguing questions as to the motivations of the art thief and the whereabouts of the items that, to this day,

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The Liberators movie full length review - "Lost" and Found

Greetings again from the darkness. The story of how art was treated during WWII is fascinating: Himmler devised the plan to hide/store the valuable art in a cave to protect it

from the bombings (they weren't as worried about citizens); much of it was stolen by soldiers from both sides; and the decades of effort to recover and return the displaced works. Those recovery efforts have been chronicled on screen in The Monuments Men (2014) and the far superior documentary The Rape of Europa (2008).

First time director, and Denison Texas native, Cassie Bryant narrows her focus to one specific case ? the Quedinburg Treasures ? a collection of medieval artifacts with tremendous religious and historical value. Her interest stems from the connection to the small town of Whitewright, Texas just outside of her hometown. In what could be described as a mixture of research, mystery and crime, Ms. Bryant follows the work of Will Korte. He has spent a career tracking down missing/stolen WWII art, and considers the Quedinburg Treasures the most important case of his career.

The film avoids the use of a narrator, and instead utilizes first person interviews and news clips. Much of this occurs in regards to the research ? both Mr. Korte and those local to Whitewright, including the Meador family, friends and neighbors. The trail leads to Joe Tom Meador, and ultimately to the recovery of a substantial portion of the treasure.

When the focus shifts to the trial, the film loses a little steam, as by this time, much of the mystery has been solved. The interviews with super attorney Dick DeGuerin have some interest due to his philosophy about good people doing bad things, as well as his humorous perspective on how the case never should have gone to trial.

There is little argument in the adage that artistic relics provide much of the cultural heritage for any society or era, and this story carries an odd twist in that the motivation may never be determined so that we might classify as either the spoils of war or outright theft. It's also dumbfounding to think that a Goodwill Store might have played a key role in the missing pieces (if one is to believe the family).