KO Review Sour Grapes
An unbelievable documentary film about a young wine savant named Rudy Kurniawan. Rudy befriends the who’s who in the California and French vintage wine world only to later be discovered as a conman creating forged wine for high profile auctions. It isn’t until European Burgundy producer Laurent Ponsont discovers suspicious bottles on the market, that he decides to fly to America to attend one of these auctions and get to the bottom of the mystery wines. The story unfolds with documentarians Reuben Atlas and Jerry Rothwell.
This is very unique documentary I would highly recommend seeing. The story is almost inconceivable and the way it is told by the people involved with Rudy make him seem larger than life. SOUR GRAPES is screening this Wednesday November 2, 2016 as part of theCalgary International Film Festivaland theHot DocsCanadian International Documentary Festival monthlyDoc Soup Series. To buy tickets click HERE. Documentary Subject Maureen Downey in attendance with a Q&A following the screening.
I was fortunate enough to have a skype call with producer Nick Ware who originally had the idea to make the filmSour Grapes.
KO:What initially drew you to the story of Rudy Kurniawan?
NW:I had recently moved to France and I loved the element ofwho dunnitin this film.
KO:Did you know Rudy personally?
NW:No. When he was arrested it was the first time I read about it.
KO:Why did you feel it was important for the story of Rudy Kurniawan to be told?
NW:I felt it was a great story that deserves to be told. I think it way it reveals the wine culture.
KO:Obviously (as revealed in the film), Rudy was brilliant in his approach and execution for forging these french wines, until he made errors and it all began to unravel. I felt watching this documentary, Rudy was a mastermind con but the film doesn’t vilify him the way that someone this corrupt maybe should have been? The Hollywood producers that befriended him seemed very fond of him, even in light of being conned by him. Why did you choose not to emphasize the darkside of Rudy?
NW:We didn’t want to point fingers. It is obvious and there is no doubt Rudy is a criminal. What he did was very interesting, because he reveals early on his plans in the clips of him joking with his friends in the film.There were many tell tail signs in the footage. But the personal side of the betrayal was that it was very difficult for his friends to accept and hard to believe. I didn’t want people leaving having watched the film with definitive answers.
There has been many articles published on Rudy and what he did, including inVanity Fairbut it is best to not assume your audience knows everything. We try to be objective by giving the people who knew Rudy best to speak about their experience and then those who were studying his every move like Brad Goldstein on behalf of wine collector Bill Koch.
Special thanks to Nick Ware for taking the time to speak to me about the film and Calgary International Film Festival for screening this film in Calgary.