Almost There | Chicago Reader

Almost There

94 minutes

Video makers Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden discovered elderly outsider artist Peter Anton painting portraits at a street fair and began interviewing him inside his trashed, crumbling house in East Chicago, Indiana. Eventually they became both his promoters, curating a show of his paintings and his obsessively detailed scrapbooks, as well as his frustrated caregivers, working to get the lame, uncooperative old man out of his condemned house and into a less squalid living environment. Their altruism/exploitation, amply chronicled in this feature, was complicated by the revelation that Anton had been convicted of distributing obscene materials to children in the 1980s. The directors' relationship with their subject is so messy that after a while this begins to feel as disordered as his life, though nothing onscreen indicates what might endear them (and a succession of other generous caregivers) to this querulous, self-regarding old man.

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