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My Kid Could Paint That

Inspiration or Manipulation? You Decide.

In the span of only a few months, four-year-old Binghamton, N.Y., native Marla Olmstead rocketed from total obscurity to international renown--and sold over $300,000 dollars worth of paintings. She was compared to Kandinsky and Pollock, while numerous talk shows got in a bidding war over an appearance by the bashful toddler. But not all of the attention was positive. From the beginning, many faulted her parents for exposing Marla to the media's glare and accused the couple of exploiting their daughter for financial gain. Others complained about the quality of the work itself, renewing criticisms that were directed towards the great Abstract Expressionists. Through no intention of her own, Marla revived the age-old question, "What is art?" Most disturbingly, Marla's parents were the only witnesses to her painting skill. Just short of her fifth birthday, a bombshell dropped: 60 Minutes aired an exposé strongly suggesting that Marla's paintings were painted by her father. As quickly as the public built Marla up, they tore her down. The Olmsteads were barraged with hate mail, sales of the paintings dried up, and Marla's art dealer considered moving out of Binghamton. Embattled, the Olmsteads turned to Amir Bar-Lev to clear their name. Torn between his own responsibility as a journalist and the family's desire to see their integrity restored, the director found himself drawn deep into a sticky situation, with no easy way out. Strikingly crafted, MY KID COULD PAINT THAT is an engrossing meditation on truth, media exploitation and the value of art.

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Directed by: 
Amir Bar-Lev
Running Time: 
Screenplay by: 
Armir Bar-Lev

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