This film features Birds’ Hell, one of the first works Max Beckmann painted in exile. The project was commissioned by Christie’s London ahead of the Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale.
While actor Alan Cumming recites Epitaph on a Tyrant, written by W.H. Auden, his surroundings are taken by different elements of Beckmann’s artwork and archive images of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. The mix of live action, archive footage and animation in a 3D scenario highlights the history behind the artwork and Beckmann’s life. One day after listening Hitler’s speech in Munich, the artist left the country and never returned.
The film ends with close shots of Birds’ Hell exploring the beauty, strength and significance of each stroke. The depiction of hell in detail.