The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins

Thirty African women lie face down on a white canvas on the floor of a fish market. Their eyes are shut, their bodies motion­less. There is no talking and no sound. The artist Vanessa Beecroft, makes wide, wild red paint strokes over their naked bodies. Genocide. Darfur. Jackson Pollock. The artist’s ability to create a visual image that stings the mind. Cameras flash, video cameras roll.

The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins follows Vanessa Beecroft’s inten­tions to adopt orphaned twins, Madit and Mongor Akot, and how this bleeds into her art and her personal life.

Vanessa Beecroft operates in the world of high art and high society. Over the last few years Vanessa has been drawn to Africa and then ulti­mately to the Sudanese twins she met in an orphanage. As New York dealer Jeffrey Deitch states, with Vanessa there is no boundary between life and art. Alongside the adoption process she has pho­to­graphed herself breast-feeding the twins, incor­por­ating them into her pro­voc­ative work.

But at what cost to her personal life?

For sixteen months The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins follows Vanessa as with an often brutal honesty, she exposes the truth about her life – her creative process, her struggle with depres­sion, her volatile rela­tion­ship with her husband, and her love for the twins.

Vanessa found the under­nour­ished babies in an orphanage, on her first day, on her first visit to Sudan. She had been breast­feeding her own child prior to flying to the Sudan.

She wanted to “save” them – she spent months trying to adopt them – but is she just another wealthy white celebrity seeking to adopt an exotic child? Vanessa asks herself that same question.

Her husband Greg ini­tially knew nothing of her adoption moves and then was hor­ri­fied by her intentions.

2008 / New Zealand / Colour / in English / 1.85 anamorphic presentation / Dolby Digital 2.0 / 95 minutes

Director: Pietra Brettkelly

Featuring: Vanessa Beecroft

***** "A stunning film!" - NOW Toronto

"We are forced to ask ourselves who really benefits the most from foreign adoption." - LA Times

"Dizzying and Dazzling" - Moving Pictures Magazine


  • 1.85 anamorphic presentation
  • Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack
  • Collection of 7 deleted scenes
  • Commentary from director Pietra Brettkelly
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Stills gallery

Product Number: KNS 50045

UPC Number: 8-81751-50045-8