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Windows to Heaven:

The Art and Life of Guido Nincheri

SYNOPSIS

Guido Nincheri, often called "the Michelangelo of Montreal," was a 20th century artist whose work was deeply rooted in the classical traditions of the Renaissance. Nincheri immigrated to Canada in 1914 and used the skills he learned as an art student in Florence to open a stained-glass studio that became legendary, producing masterpieces that still inspire churchgoers and art lovers.

But the politics of Italy followed him to Montreal -- and almost destroyed him. In 1930, pro-Fascist parishioners presented Nincheri with a painful choice: either incorporate dictator Benito Mussolini into a fresco for a new church in Montreal, or lose the most important contract of his career. Nincheri resisted but then relented -- and paid the price. When World War II broke out, Nincheri was among five hundred Italian-Canadians sent to a detention camp in Ontario, where he spent three months.

Drawing on the memory of Guido's son George and grandson Roger Boccini Nincheri, this documentary paints an intimate portrait of a frail hunchback whose inexhaustible creative energy left its imprint on some 200 buildings in Canada and New England. Roger and George take us on a tour of Guido's studio and explain the making of  masterpieces that are only now being rediscovered, ensuring Guido Nincheri's place in our artistic heritage.

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