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Woman in Gold

In my United States Holocaust Museum meetup, we watched an influential Holocaust movie based on the art restoration of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. When the film started, I immediately recognized the significant detail of Adele's diamond necklace on the actor with the portrait that I had analyzed for this blog before. I was so excited to have recognized it in my research!!

During the movie, I thought it did incredible with the parallel scenes comparing Maria Altmann's past life with the current court system right now. It truly encompassed the anger and frustration that Maria felt to the readers, and I often found myself stepping out to recollect myself from the intensity of the atmosphere. As someone who was interested in both the Holocaust and social justice/the framework of law, this movie was perfect for me. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.

I realized the interpretation of Woman in Gold that I made previously was incorrect with the actual significance of the portrait. I thought it held more significance with the wealth/gold aspect, but instead, it was a fundamental symbol of Austria (the Mona Lisa of Austria) and the destruction that the Nazis had done to families. My favorite scene of the movie was the battle of wills between Randol and Maria to continue the court case. Despite Randol's family's debt and the new child on the way, he dedicated himself to the research to serve justice and put aside his own problems. Maria had given up hope and felt that Randol was wasting his effort and money, and she felt no desire to retrieve this portrait anymore.

I walked out of this movie with a new inspiration for the topic of my AP Research essay for my senior year. I would have to write a 40-page essay with a professor, and I wanted a topic to focus on something associated with my future. This topic settled me on the question that I had been pondering since April- I decided to choose the legal difficulties of art restoration in the Holocaust, or just art restoration of the Holocaust. Thus, I can successfully incorporate law, history, art, and social justice within one topic.

Without this meetup, realization, and movie, I would have never been able to find a better-suited topic. I'm glad that I came to this meetup, and I'm already starting to research some sources for my essay next year!

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