GREENE — The award-winning documentary “Mona Lisa Is Missing” will be shown at 2 and 7 p.m. Friday, April 7, at the Sawyer Memorial, 371 Sawyer Road.

The filmmakers will answer questions after each screening.

The painting by Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci was stolen Aug. 21, 1911, by Italian immigrant Vincenzo Peruggia, who hid it in his dingy tenement room in Paris for more than 2½ years. How and why he did it is the focus of the film.

Writer/director Joe Medeiros, former head writer for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and his wife, producer Justine Mestichelli Medeiros, spent more than six years working on the project.

“I stumbled on the story in 1976,” Medeiros said, “and I always wanted to make a fictional film about it but could never get a handle on who the thief was, his character, his motives. Anything I wrote sounded made up.”

In 2008, Medeiros discovered that Peruggia had an 84-year-old daughter, Celestina, living Italy, so they decided to make Peruggia’s story as a documentary.

Their journey took them to Paris where Peruggia had lived and worked, to Florence where he brought the painting, to the French and Italian archives where they waded through thousands of documents from the time of the theft, and ultimately to the truth, which they shared with Celestina Peruggia.

“The film has cleared up many of the misconceptions about Peruggia and his crime,” Justine Medeiros said. “But we didn’t want it to be a dry, fact-filled history lesson. We wanted it to be enjoyable for audiences of all ages and to have them leave the theaters saying, ‘That was fun to watch.’”

For information regarding the documentary and the Sawyer Memorial, contact Tyler Rose at 207-946-5311, or [email protected]

“Mona Lisa” by Leonardo DaVinci

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: