“A must-see film for anyone interested in art.” The Village Voice


15 January 2013, Rialto Cinema Amsterdam 


Tchavdar Georgiev & Amanda Pope

Russia & US | 2010 | 80 min

The stranger-than-fiction story of how a penniless Russian artist managed to single-handedly save from destruction more than 40,000 forbidden artist’s works during the Soviet years and create a modern art museum in the desert of Uzbekistan.

Owning one of the most remarkable collections of 20th century Russian avant-garde art, the museum has been accidentally (re)discovered in recent years.

With its collection now attracting international collectors, local bureaucrats and religious fundamentalists alike, how can this priceless artistic treasure located in one of the world’s poorest regions be preserved?

Emmy nominated and winner of five international film festivals. NY Times and New York Magazine Critics’ Pick.

An amazing, inspirational film… Reveals one of the great secrets of modern art. A gem.” – The Vancouver Sun

The Desert of Forbidden Art provides a dramatic examination of the power of art against forces of repressive tyranny. It is a fascinating work that will ennoble art lovers, students of Russian history, and anyone who believes in the power of culture.” – Film Threat

El ‘Schindler’ del arte ruso” – El Pais

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of critically acclaimed art related documentaries and artists’ films.

Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through experimental documentaries and cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, filmmakers, writers and global thinkers.

Each film is theatrically unreleased in The Netherlands and will be screened in English or with English subtitles.



  1. Amanda Pope · January 6, 2013

    Thanks, Christian for helping us get the word out in Amsterdam about our film – wish I could be there! Amanda Pope

    • christianpazzaglia · January 6, 2013

      It is my pleasure to do so Amanda! All the best with your next projects.

  2. Audrey Stein · January 6, 2013

    Thank you Christian! This film well deserves all the many accolades it receives. It is a beautifully executed timeless piece of work that continues to enthrall audiences interested in art, history and the power of the individual to achieve the unimaginable. “Desert” is the essence of good filmmaking … a well told important story.

  3. What The Traveler Saw · January 6, 2013

    I’m on wordpress too, great to see this bit of film on this subject. I will keep in touch

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