Documentaries are a genre of film where the fans are pure and the non-fans are steady. It’s rare that you find a documentary that can pull the non-fans in, but it’s not impossible. Thankfully, for the Austin Film Festival audience, “The Missing Piece” is one of these documentary gems.
“The Missing Piece” follows the story of why Vincenzo Peruggia stole the Mona Lisa in 1911. Director Joe Medeiros fascination with the truth behind the story eventually lead to his introduction to Peruggia’s daughter Celestina. This meeting shifted the heart of the documentary, and it became much more than Medeiros’ search for the truth. It became important to bring closure to Celestina about who her father was, who passed when she was very young, and the truth behind the theft.
It’s a crime caper set in the early 20th century, where court documents and newspapers of the time help to fill in the missing pieces of the obscure story from the history of one of the world’s most famous paintings. While the filmmakers were able to find evidence in historical documents of two years of Peruggia life, Medeiros uses modern effects, a loving homage to Monty Python, to keep you entertained and intrigued.
With so many documentary choices to choose from, this documentary is definitely one you want to check out. Not only will you learn about a moment in history, but you fill find out a little bit about yourself as well.
Lisa Marie Mejia, Film Editor, Writer, has lived in Austin since 1990, having spent the first part of her life as an Air Force brat, but comes from a long line of Texans. She graduated with a film degree from UT Austin, and has dabbled in both the local music and film industries. Lisa finds enjoyment out of a variety of mediums including books, films, music, pop culture, writing, design and comedy.