Mar 02
2019

The day after the Academy Awards, Helen Mirren was a guest at the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center in New York to talk about “Woman in Gold” and the story behind the film. Reality became a perfect film plot: A stunning Gustav Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, a Jewish society woman in Vienna in the early 20th century, was stolen by the Nazis in Austria in 1941. Six decades later, declaring that theft irrelevant, the Austrian government refused to return the painting to the woman’s niece. But the 81-year-old, who’d fled Vienna during the Holocaust, refused to be a victim again and fought back… all the way to the US Supreme Court. Helen Mirren, who received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for playing Maria Altman, discussed the ironic transformation of the portrait of a Jewish woman into an Austrian national treasure, her niece’s long legal battle and the importance of pursuing truth. Pictures from the conversation have been added to the photo gallery.