DE SMET: You are now qualified for evangelical work
under the auspices of the Belgian committee
of the messengers of the faith.
May the lord guide you
and sustain you in all your ways.
MAN: Congratulations, Dr. Bosman.
A very creditable group of young men.
Now about this other young man, Dr. Bosman.
Are you sure he's quite hopeless?
Gentlemen, I've trained a great many students
in evangelical work,
but never in my life have I come across
a case quite like this.
He is completely unable to speak extemporary.
He prepares long and obscure sermons,
which he's unable to memorize,
and has to read like a stumbling and inarticulate child.
can we send that kind of man out into the field
to represent our society?
Dr. Peeters, I think that's conclusive.
Dr. Bosman, ask him to come in, please.
Mr. Van Gogh,
we have Dr. Bosman's report on your progress here.
In view of what he's told us--
PEETERS: You understand
if your teacher feels that you're unqualified,
this committee cannot give you an appointment.
We regret it more than we can say.
Well, gentlemen, I think that concludes
committee business for today. Dr. Peeters.
PEETERS: Mr. Van Gogh,
do you feel that the committee were unjust in their decision?
We did what we had to do in view of your records.
PEETERS: Come here.
Your father is a minister, is he not?
I'm not trying to put myself on a level with my father.
I only hoped i-in some way to--
To follow in his footsteps.
Yet, until a year ago,
you showed no inclination or desire
to follow your father's calling.
Believe me, this is something I have to do.
I want to help the unfortunates.
I want to bring them the word of God.
Even if I'm not qualified,
there must be some way I can serve.
Isn't there any place for me?
Somewhere no one else wants to go?
I'll do anything. Only use me.
Do you know this part of the country?
It's a coal-mining region, the Borinage.
There exists no more miserable people on the face of the earth
than the miners who live there.
If you really mean what you said
about wanting to help the unfortunates,
here's your chance.
VINCENT: "The heart that seeks God
"has more storms than any others.
"Life is a struggle here below.
"Yet out of our-- Out of our sufferings,
"God teaches us higher things.
"He wills that man should live humbly,
"and go through life not reaching after lofty aims,
"but fitting himself to the lowly
"and learning from the gospels
to be meek, simple of heart."
Father, we pray to thee to keep us from evil and despair.
Feed us with the bread that does not perish, which is thy word.
O lord, amen.
I don't know what your name is, but--
Why did you leave?
Did I say something wrong?
I saw you leave. What did I say that offended you?
Just because it's Sunday,
you don't expect us to listen to the kind of pious bilge
you gave us just now.
Look, I worked all week on that sermon.
I meant every word of it.
Every now and then, somebody comes here from the outside
and tries to help us.
They mean well. So do you, probably,
but that doesn't help us at all, does it?
I want to bring you the word of God.
What can I do? Tell me.
[CHUCKLING] I don't know.
Help me. Help me to understand you people,
to know you. Take me into your homes where you live.
We don't live here.
We only come here to sleep.
Down there, 2,000 feet underground,
that's where we live.
Can I go down? Take me.
Will you take me down?
Sure, I can arrange it.
Be here in the morning when I go to work.
I'm trembling inside of me just as much as you are.
And I've been going down for 33 years.
How old is that child?
How long has she been working here?
Her father was killed in the explosion.
DUCRUCQ: Listen, mister. Every now and then,
somebody comes here from the outside
and tries to help us.
They mean well. So do you, probably,
but that doesn't help us at all, does it?
MAN: Come down! Come down! Somebody...
why don't you come down and wait with us?
MAN: What are you waiting for?
[MAN CONTINUES CHATTERING]
I've got a blanket in there for one of the wounded,
and some bread.
What about you?
Wait for me.
I see you don't remember us.
From the committee of the messengers of the faith.
I'm glad you've come.
Did you bring food and clothes for the families?
You didn't know?
I'm sorry to hear it. Were there many lost?
Four men, two children, 28 injured.
Terrible. I'll see what we can do.
It's unfortunate our visit should have come at this time.
However, it was Rev. Peeters' particular wish.
The purpose of our coming here is an inspection.
Excuse me, gentlemen. I'll be right back.
Mr. Van Gogh, just what is the meaning of this?
You receive an allowance. Why have you chosen
to live in the most wretched, filthy shack in this village?
Because we have no right
to spread the word of God to these people
unless we suffer as they do.
You yourself are unclean.
Your clothes are ragged and dirty.
There are people here who have no clothes at all.
Do you mean to tell us you actually--
You actually sleep on this dirt and straw
like a beast of the field?
You, the spiritual leader of the community?
I gave my bed to a sick woman who needed it more than I.
You are new in this work, Mr. Van Gogh.
I have no doubt that you mean well.
But by your behavior,
you've degraded the dignity of the church
whose representative you are.
Have you no sense of decency?
Don't you understand that if the clergy is to be respected--
I don't care to be respected!
I'm trying to live like a true Christian.
I'm not going to worry about how I sleep.
Look at the fresh graves of the children in the cemetery.
Scrub floors and pick coal with the women.
Get those fine clothes dirty
with the blood and sweat of dying miners.
Then come here and lecture me about Christianity!
But you must have heard of him.
He came here about a year ago as a preacher.
Vincent Van Gogh.
Oh, yes, mister.
You'll find him in the little shack.
Who is it?
What have you done to yourself?
What's happened to you?
I was sick for a while, but I'm all right now.
Doesn't anyone look after you?
I'd better go and get you some food.
Don't go, Theo. Stay and talk.
Where's the nearest place where I can--
Please don't go, Theo.
It's been such a long time.
Vincent, what are we going to do about you?
Father wrote and asked me to come and find you.
For months he's not heard from you.
There was nothing to tell.
What right have you to decide that?
Cut yourself off from everybody, even from me.
You've become a stranger.
I haven't changed, Theo.
Outwardly, perhaps, but inside me,
I still want the same things.
The things we talked about in the old days.
To be of use, to work,
to bring something to the world.
Do you think this is the answer?
I don't know.
I don't know.
We've grown apart, Theo.
Look, you found what you wanted in Paris and I'm glad for you.
I've found nothing anywhere.
I've made one bad start after another.
One mess after another.
I thought I was on my way here by doing God's work.
That was the worst failure of all.
But no matter how often I fail, there is something in me.
That I am good for something.
But this is not the way to find it.
Hiding away here, wasting your time.
You've become an idler.
An idler? Yes.
But there are two kinds of idlers.
There's the man who's idle
because he wants to be, out of laziness.
How easy that is. I envy him.
There's the other kind,
the man who's idle in spite of himself.
I want nothing but to work.
Only, I can't.
I'm in a cage, a cage of shame and self-doubt and failure.
Somebody believe me.
I'm caged. I'm alone.
Vincent, listen to me.
When we were children,
I used to follow you about.
If I was frightened,
I'd run to look for you.
If I got lost,
you'd always come to find me.
We're still brothers, we're friends,
we can trust one another.
That's stronger than any cage.
Whatever you do, from now on,
wherever you go,
promise me this.
Make me part of it.
Don't ever cut yourself off from me again.
What is it?
Let me take you home
where you can live and be cared for.
Until you find your way.
Then tell me, if you were me,
which would you want to have your money in?
Uh, and these are both accredited canvases.
Uh, both were exhibited in last year's salon.
Perhaps you'd prefer to be left alone for a moment
to make your choice.
I shall be in the next room.
VINCENT: Dear Theo,
you were right. It's so good to be home.
To live in peace for a time.
Once again, thanks to you, life seems precious to me.
Something to be valued and loved.
Once again I'm working.
You know how for years,
whenever I saw anything that moved me,
I felt the need to draw it.
To get it down on paper, no matter how crudely.
Now, for the first time, I've begun to wonder,
could this be the way for me?
A man or a woman at work.
Some furrows in a plowed field.
A bit of sand, sea, or sky.
These are subjects so difficult,
and at the same time, so beautiful,
that it's worth spending one's whole life
trying to capture the poetry that's hidden in them.
Vincent, have you lost all track of time?
Father's upset, we're practically through dinner.
You go ahead. I just want to finish this.
Couldn't you try to be on time just once in a while?
Especially with Cousin Kay here.
She brought little Jan with her.
And, Vincent, try not to argue with Father.
I'm sorry I'm late.
Vincent, aren't you going to say hello
to your cousin Kay?
ANNA: You must pardon Vincent.
He's so interested in his new work,
he forgets where he is sometimes.
Vincent is an artist these days.
He draws on paper.
Lovely things: swamps, and woods, and people--
He's made a drawing of me.
He makes us all pose for him.
ELIZABETH: If you don't watch out,
he'll make you pose too, Cousin Kay. And Jan.
And you should see the way he makes people look.
Vincent, you're looking at me
as though you've never seen me before.
It's been a long time.
Not since before Vos died.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I-- I guess I shouldn't have mentioned it.
Well, even though--
Well, it's been almost a year.
One doesn't measure such things
in weeks and months, Vincent.
No, of course not. See, I only meant that--
Well, I was gonna write to you, Cousin Kay,
but I'm not very good at those things,
and then so much time went by that I...
Jan's being very quiet.
I hope he's not getting up to any mischief. Excuse me.
Couldn't you see how she felt?
You know how it was with her and Vos?
It's not right to grieve that long.
God didn't intend the living to mourn forever.
I hardly think you're the best judge
of God's intentions, Vincent.
Do you realize you haven't been to church once
since you got back?
You, the minister's son.
What do you think they're saying in the village?
I act out of my beliefs, Father.
Not because I want to please the village.
I happen not to believe in the God or the clergymen.
For me, he's as dead as a doornail.
Children, if you've finished, leave the table, please.
Go into the other room.
Vincent, before the children?
Do you realize what you said?
Yes, Mother. But I must say what I feel.
I'm not an atheist. I do believe in God.
A god of love, Father,
and I believe there are many ways to serve him.
One man does it from a pulpit,
another through a book or a painting.
Let's not discuss it.
I'm sorry, Father,
but I was just telling you my opinion.
Did you have a good morning in the fields, Vincent?
Like any other.
Do you feel the drawing's going well?
You work so hard and...
Well, I can't help noticing
that you go over and over your drawings
and often as not, you throw them away.
What Mother means is, we'd hate to see--
See you keep struggling, Vincent,
only to realize in the end, it was just another failure.
Maybe he could visit Cousin Mauve in The Hague.
He's a successful artist.
Ask him his opinion of your drawings.
I'm sure he'd be glad to help you.
I'm not ready to show my work to Mauve.
When I am, I'll go to him.
I'm sorry, Vincent.
VINCENT: How's Jan?
He's all right. Thank you.
I'm glad you're here, Kay.
VINCENT: Please, Theo, send more paper and drawing ink.
I'm afraid I quickly used up what you sent last month.
As I work at my drawings day after day,
what seemed unattainable before
is now gradually becoming possible.
Slowly, I'm learning to observe and measure.
I don't stand quite so helpless before nature any longer.
Come on, Jan, you rascal.
I know there's still something harsh and stiff in my style.
Although, to tell the truth,
I believe the presence of Kay here this summer
is beginning to have a softening influence on my work.
Time for your nap, now.
There we go. Cover you up.
He fell asleep almost as soon as I put him down.
He's getting to be such a boy.
It's been a wonderful summer for him here.
It's been a wonderful summer.
How did it go today? Well?
When you're with me, it always goes well.
I'm glad, Vincent.
You work so hard.
I see your light on often, halfway through the night.
There's so much to learn,
not only about drawing, but people.
How they feel and think, the world they live in.
Before you can paint them, you have to know that too.
So I read everything I can get my hands on.
Dickens, Zola, Michelet.
You know what Michelet says?
"Blessed is the man who's found his worth,
and one woman to love."
I need love, Kay.
Well, of course you do.
I need it to be myself, to be able to breathe it.
I want a home. I want children.
Vos felt the same way.
He made Jan and me the center of his existence.
Nothing else counted for him--
Stop talking about Vos. He's dead.
And we're alive, Kay. In the present.
The present. I love you, Kay.
No, listen to me, we're both alone in the world.
We need each other. Look, we'll have a home, Kay.
We'll be happy. I promise you.
In God's name, don't be frightened.
I'm only saying I want to marry you.
To be your husband, and a father to Jan.
No. Never! Never!
VINCENT: No. Never. Never.
I tell you, Theo, this thing threatens me.
Love is something so strong, so real,
that it's as impossible to quench it
as it is for a man to take his own life.
I must see her face again and speak to her once more.
I'd like to see Miss Kay.
She's-- I'm-- I'm afraid she's out, sir.
No, sir, you can't go in now, sir.
The family's at dinner.
He pushed his way in, sir.
Vincent, I see now what people mean
when they complain about your bad manners.
She's not here.
She's visiting friends.
Vincent, please, sit down.
She was just sitting here.
Can't you understand a simple word like "no"?
Don't you realize what it meant
when Kay returned your letters unopened?
May I speak to Kay, please?
My dear, will you leave us alone, please?
Must you persist in the face of everything?
Try to be reasonable, Vincent.
Even if Kay returned your love,
how could you possibly hope to provide a home for her?
You haven't earned money in a long time.
You don't even have--
If a man loves, he lives.
If he lives, he works. If he works, he has bread.
You think I'm a tramp? That I'll be penniless all my life?
No, it's not just a question of money--
Listen to me!
All I ask is a chance to show Kay my love.
To help her understand why she must love me.
Surely you've been in love.
You know what agonies a man can suffer--
Agonies? Are you such a weakling
that you can't stand the little pain
of a disappointment in love?
Do you have to whimper about it?
What do you know about pain?
I've seen agonies that you've never dreamed of.
Let me talk to Kay
for as long as I can keep my hand in this flame.
Have you gone out of your mind?
Do you hear me whimpering?
Listen to me, my boy. I'd let you talk to Kay
to your heart's content, but for one thing.
She refuses to see you again, ever.
I don't believe it.
She said that your persistence disgusted her.
There are some things that can't be controlled by wishes.
Love is one of them.
But did she say I--
I disgusted her?
Did she actually say that?
All right, I'm sorry too.
I'll be going.
Where are you staying?
Would you like to spend the night here?
No, thank you.
But if Kay leaves the house--
At least let me take care of your hand.
Take care of yourself, Vincent.
MRS. STRICKLER: Our love to your family.
STRICKLER: Good night, boy.
MRS. STRICKLER: good night.
[CHURCH BELL TOLLING]
♪[ACCORDION PLAYING IN DISTANCE]
♪[ACCORDION PLAYING SOFT MUSIC]
Come on. Let's get out of here.
[WOMAN SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY]
[ACCORDION PLAYS SOUR NOTE]
♪[ACCORDION PLAYING SOFT MUSIC]
You all right?
I'm sick. I'm tired. Just leave me alone.
Now I understand why people drown themselves.
Don't say things like that.
Suicide's a terrible thing.
What do you know about it?
What are you, anyway? A working man?
You don't talk like one.
Thanks for the brandy.
I'm a laundress,
when I have the strength to scrub.
And when I haven't, I look for easier work.
I have a baby to feed.
He's at home with my mother.
Where's your husband?
I've been at the tubs all day.
They were supposed to pay me tonight
but they put me off till tomorrow.
Can't your mother help you?
She's helped plenty.
She's taught me all I know.
Can I have another?
Here. Put this in your pocket instead.
I'm only sorry it isn't more.
Who bit your hand?
I burned it.
Let me see it.
What were you trying to do?
Fry it for dinner?
I'll get something for it.
It'll be all right.
Got any oil or butter in this cockroach trap?
We sell drinks, not food.
It's a bad burn. Come home with me.
I'll dress it for you before it gets worse.
Thank you. It'll heal.
What's the matter with you?
You're afraid to be seen with me?
VINCENT: This is a woman, Theo,
who is far from young, far from pretty,
but she was good to me, and kind.
She's evidently had a great deal of trouble
and a hard life,
and there's nothing at all distinguished
or unusual about her.
We talked about all sorts of things:
Her life, her troubles, her poverty,
her health, her loneliness.
If you had nothing at all, it'd make no difference.
Since you came over and talked to me,
I don't feel alone anymore.
I don't know how to say it.
VINCENT: The clergymen would call us sinners.
Is it a sin to love, Theo, to be in need of love?
Not to be able to live without love?
Oh, Vincent. I'm sorry to put off seeing you,
but we artists have to be selfish, you know.
We have to save ourselves.
After all, with each painting, we die a little.
What have you there?
I'm trying to draw.
I was wondering if you'd be willing to help me.
I wouldn't ask much.
Just let me watch you work now and then.
And sometimes, when you're resting,
if you would look at my things
and tell me my mistakes.
You think that's not asking much?
But, uh, these are just copying exercises.
Don't you have anything of your own?
Ah, you've been out at the beach at Scheveningen.
Don't be in such a hurry, seascapes are difficult.
You know, I expected to find you a dullard.
I was wrong.
They're clumsy, most of them,
but I can see what you're getting at.
And that you've worked.
Tell me something.
What kind of an artist do you want to be?
I want to create things that touch people.
I want to move them so they say,
"He feels deeply and tenderly."
That's fine. Fine.
But before you can move people,
you first have to learn your business.
It needs skill as well as heart.
Tell me something.
Have you ever worked in color?
Well, you better start working right away
in watercolors and oil. It'll help your drawing.
I don't know the first thing about color.
I will teach you.
We'll work together here.
No, no, no.
When I'm less tired.
Now, you'll need some watercolors.
Now here they are.
Some brushes, some oil,
And... No. This is an incomplete set,
but it'll do for now.
There's a palette, palette knife,
Better have a couple of these and...
Now, to improve your drawing, you'll need to use casts.
Now let me see. Yes.
Now take these home with you
and see that you work from them
not less than three hours each day, faithfully.
Have you a place to work?
Well, I found a flat near the market--
Has it got good light?
I usually work out--
How are you fixed for money?
Oh, no, Theo's been sending me money.
Well, it's always the first few months that are the hardest.
I don't suppose a little extra will be unwelcome, eh?
Cousin Mauve, I--
That will help you set yourself up.
Oh, I can't tell you how--
Not at all.
Now, come back next week, let me see what you've done.
Please forgive me for barging in when you're so tired.
Don't. That's all right.
Now just take these with you.
I can't tell you how grateful I am.
That's all right. Now take that. Now.
How much longer do you need us?
I can't get supper ready
sitting in this chair, you know.
Oh, oh, I'm sorry.
You can get up now.
I'm going to the market.
Next time, will you keep some money for food?
If we could eat drawings, it might be different.
I saved some money. You dropped it on the beach.
I didn't give it back to you.
My mother was right,
getting myself hooked up with a crazy painter.
Keep an eye on him.
VINCENT: Dear brother, I think of you so often,
so very, very often these days.
If only you could be here
and see for yourself how it is with us.
That this is a real home, rooted in life,
with a woman and a cradle, and a child's high chair.
The feeling I have for Christine is real too.
I'm going in to feed the baby.
Christine, come back!
[HAMMER TAPPING ON FRAME]
I'm fed up.
Month after month, it's the same thing.
VINCENT: What's the matter now?
I'm fed up with living on bread and coffee.
You take every penny you're given
and throw it away on paints and canvases.
Don't start that again.
Look at these. How much do they cost?
You haven't even used up the old ones yet.
Don't interfere with things you know nothing about.
I won't shut up. I have to pick up after you,
mend those rags you call clothes,
pose for you for hours, on top of everything else.
What do you think I am? Your slave?
Sometimes I wonder if I wasn't better off the way I was.
Don't you dare. Do you hear me? Don't you dare.
If only we could have a piece of meat once in a while,
or an egg.
I'm sick of worrying every night
how we're gonna get money to eat the next day.
You call that a life?
Couldn't you write to your brother?
I can't ask him again. He's helping all he can.
What about the man who wanted to meet you in the gallery?
Maybe he could sell your stuff.
I went to see him.
Offered me a hand-down like I was a beggar.
Didn't you take it?
He said I had no talent.
Even if I did, I started too late.
Well, that leaves only your cousin Mauve.
Couldn't he help?
Or did you have a fight with him, too?
Mauve can go to hell.
Oh, he helps me when he's in the mood.
The rest of the time, he doesn't care.
[IMITATING MAUVE] "Oh, I'm sorry, my boy.
"Go home. I can't see you now.
Go home and work with those casts."
I'm sick of working with those idiotic casts!
Don't look down your nose at those casts of his.
He sells what he paints!
I don't want to hear about those casts
from you or from anybody else!
Where've you been?
I asked you where you've been.
At my mother's.
For two days? You said you wouldn't go back.
There was something to eat for a change.
You promised not to get drawn into that life again.
And some jokes for a change.
Where are you going?
My father's ill. I-- I have to go back.
How long will you be gone?
Depends on what happens.
What is it?
There's some painting muslin left in the cupboard.
Make some shirts for the boy.
Vincent, I won't be there when you get back.
Don't say that.
I didn't want to tell you.
I've been feeling restless. Besides, my mother's right.
You don't earn enough for me and the baby.
It's a bad life.
This is no time for--
You'll forget about us. It won't be hard.
CONDUCTOR: All aboard. All aboard.
Where will you go? How will you live?
It'll be the old life, I suppose.
Vincent, it's not your fault. You've been good.
You're the only person
who's ever been good to me and the baby.
Just as if he was your own.
CONDUCTOR: All aboard. All aboard.
[TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWING]
What is it that came between father and me?
Why couldn't I have shown him a little more consideration?
Given him some pleasure while he was alive?
It wouldn't have hurt to come to his church once in a while.
We always assume there's time,
and that we can give love on our own terms.
Then one day we find it's too late to give on any terms.
Will you go back to your life in the Hague?
It was wrong from the beginning.
Come to Paris, Vincent.
We could live together.
You're not the only one that's lonely.
Not yet, Theo. Some day, but not now.
You could meet other painters. See what they're doing.
If I'm to be anything as a painter,
I've got to break through the iron wall
between what I feel and what I can express.
And my best chance of doing it is here
where my roots are, the people I know...
the earth I know.
VINCENT: Dear Theo, thank you for the money,
the paints and canvas.
With your help, I go forward.
I feel the force to work growing daily within me.
Do your realize, Theo, that what I'm doing is new?
In the paintings of the old masters,
did you ever see a single man or woman at work?
Did they ever try to paint a laborer or a man digging?
They didn't, and for good reason,
because work is so hard to draw.
[CHURCH BELLS TOLLING]
WOMAN: Look at the way he's dressed.
Oh, that old sheepskin.
Oh, my. I tell you, I'm sorry for the family.
VINCENT: To paint these people
means to be with them in the fields day after day
and by their firesides at night.
Since the rains came,
I've become absorbed in the weavers.
They make such good subjects,
the old oak wood darkened by sweating hands
and the shadows of the looms on the gray mud walls.
All these months I've been trying to find a pattern,
trying not so much to draw hands, as gestures,
not so much faces, as the expressions of people.
Men and women who know the meaning of toil.
I want to make clear that these people
sitting around a meal of potatoes in the evening
have turned the soil
with the very hands they put in the dish.
That they have honestly earned their food.
I want to paint something
that smells of bacon smoke and steam.
Something that's the good, dark color of our Dutch earth.
Willemien. Come in.
Here, here, sit down.
What's the matter?
The neighbors been at you again?
You know how they are. Such a small place.
What is it this time? Hm?
It has to do with the way you dress, partly, and...
I dress this way because I work in the fields.
[CHUCKLING] Because I have nothing else.
And the way you behave, too. They-- They don't understand it.
It makes trouble for us.
Since father died, it hasn't been easy.
People have stopped coming to the house.
They-- They avoid us.
It isn't very comfortable and...
Is your young man one of those who's stopped coming?
Yes, he is. But that doesn't matter so much.
Yes, it does.
It's the rest of the family.
Mother pretends she doesn't notice,
but-- but I know it's upset her.
And she'll never tell you, so-- so I felt I must.
I'll get out. Take a few days to finish this and then leave.
No, Vincent. I-- I didn't mean that, I...
Of course you did, Willemien.
[SIGHS] Oh, it's-- it's all right.
I-I've accomplished what I stayed here to do and...
Maybe it is time to move on.
DURAND-RUEL: I'm sick and tired of these cheap jokes.
Art is a serious business. And in Paris, at least,
an artist with a new idea should be--
For once I agree with you, Durand-Ruel.
Impressionism is not a joke.
It's a cancer, and it must be cut out.
Condone anarchism in the arts, and you seal the doom of France.
DURAND-RUEL: what would you do? Padlock the galleries
and ship the painters off to Devil's Island?
These men are shameless. They load pistols with tubes of paint
and fire them at the canvas.
And then have the audacity to sign their names:
Cezanne, Signac, Pissarro, Gauguin, Renoir, Monet.
You know these men. You handled some of them.
Why didn't you tell me? Why didn't you let me know?
I wrote you in Antwerp. Don't you read my letters?
But seeing them, the colors, Theo, the colors,
and what they've done with light.
Is that painting?
The critics and the public don't think so,
nor do my employers at Goupil's.
I can't believe it. Now, if they're right,
then everything I've done is wrong.
Theo, do they really know what they're doing?
You've got to meet them and talk to them,
see what they think they're doing.
That's why I wanted you to come to Paris.
Where can I meet them? I got so many questions.
At 2:00 in the morning?
Listen, take that thing off and settle down.
You live here, you know.
We've got to make a Parisian out of you.
You'll have lots of time to get your answers.
Tomorrow, we'll start with Pissarro.
It's the problem of translating light
into the language of paint.
Those leaves there,
if they were the only thing in sight,
they'd have one color, their own.
But the shade and reflection of everything around,
the sky, the earth, the water,
give them more than their own color.
That's why, when you paint from nature,
don't fix your eye on any one spot.
Take in everything at once.
And above all, don't be timid.
PISSARRO: Trust your first impression.
BERNARD: Everything you've been doing,
what we've all been doing: obsolete.
The whole lot of us guessing with every brush stroke,
pouring rivers of paint into haphazard combinations,
when actually, everything we're after
can be achieved mathematically.
What are you talking about? Seurat again?
Do you really think a painting can be done by formula?
Can be? Is being done, right here in Paris
through precise, scientific methods.
SEURAT: I don't mix my colors on canvas.
I mix them in the eye of the spectator.
Once you accept the phenomenon
of the duration of light in the human retina--
Excuse me. But this is a sunlit exterior.
Now, why do you paint it indoors by gaslight?
I mean, how can you judge your colors?
[LAUGHING] Why not?
Come on, Seurat, put him out of his misery.
I've tried, but he's still in darkness.
All right, Bernard. Come here.
Everything I do is worked out in advance
with mathematical accuracy,
through precise scientific methods.
I know exactly what colors I'm going to use
before I pick up my brushes.
And my palette is methodically prepared
in the order of the spectrum.
As you see, blue, blue-violet, violet, violet-red,
red, red-orange, orange-yellow, yellow...
THEO: What is it?
Come on, get up.
[YAWNING] Can't it wait till morning?
No, please, I need your help.
What is it this time?
Look at this.
Yes, it's coming along.
It's got a very good sense of light.
What's the matter? You look terrible.
Will you be able to sell it?
It's hard to sell any of the new painters,
even the ones with some sort of name.
You know how Goupil's begrudges me
the little space I can get for them in the back room.
Why don't you leave Goupil's? Set up for yourself.
Why waste time with idiots like that?
Vincent, don't tell me how to run my life!
It's taken me a long time to get where I am.
It may not be ideal, but, to me,
what I'm doing seems worthwhile.
And you don't make it any easier.
I haven't had any sleep for six months.
When people come to the house, you insult them.
Don't I have a right to express my opinion?
This is my home.
You have no right to insult my guests!
Maybe I shouldn't have come to Paris in the first place.
all we've got is what we can give each other.
You know how much joy it would give me
to sell your paintings.
I show them whenever I get a chance.
But perhaps you should take some to some other dealer.
The more your work's seen, the better.
Go to Pere Tanguy. I'll talk to him about you.
Why should I--
See what he can do for you.
And show him some of your old work,
not just the new stuff.
Is that your way of saying the new work's no good?
Vincent, I'm not going to argue with you
when you're in this mood.
What mood? All I'm trying--
It's all good, all of it.
The important thing is that one day it could be sublime.
But between then and now,
there's one thing you could do for me.
A little thing, that's all I ask.
Let me get a night's sleep.
PAUL: Oh, it's still the same.
Nothing's changed since I left here a year ago.
You owed us 112 francs then, and you still do!
Tanguy, remove your wife.
Get in the back.
This man is absolutely correct, Tanguy.
You cannot handle painters and woodpeckers, too.
The fact is, my dear friends, that you are not painters.
You are, uh, tattoo artists.
You are chemists with little pots of paint.
You cover canvases with colored fleas.
You are so busy imitating each other's tricks,
you've forgotten what painting is about.
You all make me sick.
What doesn't make you sick, Paul,
besides your own work?
Would you really like to know?
Look at that. The clarity, the calm.
The Japanese paint as simply as we breathe.
MRS. TANGUY: Maybe they pay for paints.
Who is he?
You have to go around the world to find something you like?
I don't have to leave this shop.
Look at that. Look at that.
And that, and that.
King of the unsalables.
I, uh, suppose you call this painting.
Give me that painting!
Yes. It's direct, it's vigorous.
What's your name?
V-Vincent van Gogh.
He has a statement to make, and he makes it.
Glad to know you. It's honest.
It owes nothing to anybody. Nothing.
Because it has nothing. No tone, no values--
No color relations. No sense of space.
The little men are at it again.
My friend, will you join me in a drink?
What about the 112 francs?
Lady, go back to your kitchen.
Ah, you see, down there,
the sun invades you, gets into your blood.
Not that Martinique was a paradise.
Between hunger and fever, I was lucky to get out alive.
But if I could, I'd go back there tomorrow.
How long you been in Paris?
Over a year.
How can you stand it? I can't work here. It strangles me.
Well, where would you go?
Brittany. There's a place up there I can stay.
It's just a hole, but it's all I can afford.
Wouldn't you miss your friends in Paris?
A woman or two, maybe.
When you start as late as I did, you find yourself measuring
who and what you give your time to.
Friends, comforts, family.
If they interfere with your peace to work,
you cut them off,
and you spend the rest of your life
wondering if it was worthwhile.
Oh, I said, if they're mad enough
to buy Impressionist paintings,
it only proves that they're savages.
I haven't seen the place looking so neat
since Vincent came to stay here.
What got into him, cleaning it up like this?
I do hope he's out.
Never would get any business done if he's in.
What is it?
It's from Vincent.
"I'm sorry for the trouble I've caused you,
"and endlessly grateful for all your kindness.
I've hung a few paintings to remind you of me."
He's on his way south to Arles, Provence.
"I've thought it over these past few weeks
"and decided the time has come to make a change.
"I want to see nature under a clearer sky.
Have to work by myself for a while."
No offense meant, but you'll be better off
without him around your neck.
I think I'm the best judge of that.
No, the worst. You've been pushing his paintings.
And every time you do that, we lose a customer.
As your employer, I tell you for your own good,
your love for Vincent has blinded your judgment.
It's affected your work.
Please don't let's wrangle again about that.
I'll go on fighting for every good painter
who deserves to be recognized, and Vincent is one of them.
He could be the best of them.
Well, you're his brother. You're emotional about him.
Oh, that has nothing to do with it.
What is it when you brood about him?
When you agonize over his every failure?
When you support him to the point of denying yourself?
You've saved every letter he wrote
as though it were a holy scripture.
Oh, come now, Theo.
Don't you really think you've done enough for him?
How much is enough
for a man who's struggling with himself the way Vincent is?
Oh, I know he's crude, and quarrelsome and excitable,
but inside that tormented head of his
there's something wonderful.
In those letters, there's a gifted man, a tender man,
and there's far more passionate beauty
and strength in his work than there is
in half the stuff you see in the museums today.
Wonder if there'll ever come a happy time for him.
It seems impossible for him to have a quiet life.
The change may do him good. Maybe he'll find himself.
Or will he only find more loneliness?
[TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWING]
This is it.
At that, it's worth more than you're willing to pay.
That'll be 8 francs for the week.
Get these pictures out of here!
I told you a week ago.
Don't touch that, you fool!
Can't you see it's still wet?
But you're getting paint all over everything.
That's why I raised your rent.
You had no right to do it without telling me.
Whoever heard of a storage fee for the use of a landing?
Then get your stuff out of here!
I will not!
Then pay me!
No, don't, don't, don't.
With your permission.
Looks like you're moving.
I'm getting out of that hellhole.
Here. I think you need some help.
That swine of a landlord.
Here you are.
I wondered how long you'd stand him.
Where do you think you're going
with all this stuff?
I don't know.
You're gonna have to find some place before night.
I'd ask you to stay with me, but it's a bit crowded
with a wife and four kids and one on the way--
How'd you like a house?
Ha ha! Perhaps not.
Come along, let me do the talking.
If there's one thing I hate, it's landlords.
Oh, come along.
You wouldn't want a dump like that.
It should've been pulled down years ago.
Wait a minute! What are you trying to do to me,
talking like that about my property?
Is that what you're looking for, a house?
Oh, this is a fine house.
Look, my sister lived in it for 17 years
and then she died. God bless her.
That's what I mean.
Uh, would you want me to show it to you, huh?
And how long would you want it for?
He won't want it at all, not when he's seen it.
Look here, Roulin, you mind your own business or I'll report you.
I'll let you have it at a good price too.
Now, how would you feel like 15 a month, eh?
You- You stay out of this.
On top of that, I'll let you have the use of an extra room.
VINCENT [NARRATING]: A house, Theo. I found a house.
A place of my own where I can work without trouble.
And where there's plenty of room.
Roulin lent me a mattress to get started,
and I bought some chairs and a bed,
and a few other things that were necessary.
With this and with what I spent on paints and canvas,
my money for the month is almost gone.
But it was worth it.
Oh, Theo, you'd like this house.
It's yellow on the outside and filled with sunshine.
Later, two could live in it.
One day, perhaps, Gauguin will come,
and then, who knows, this might turn into a colony of painters.
I'm up at dawn and out on the road.
Now that summer's begun, it's all very different here
from what it was in the spring.
But I love it even more.
Everywhere is old gold, bronze and copper.
I wish you could see these lovely days here, Theo.
But if not, you shall see pictures of them,
for these colors give me an extraordinary exultation.
The whole earth is glowing under the southern sun.
Lemon yellow, sulfur yellow, greenish yellow,
all under a sky blanched with heat.
What a country it is.
It absorbs me so much that I let myself go,
never thinking of a single rule.
I have no doubts, no limitations.
I'm working like a steam engine,
devouring paints, burning up canvases.
Whole days go by without my speaking to anyone.
And every day my concentration becomes more intense,
my hand more sure.
I have a power of color in me that I never had before.
A sense of breadth and strength.
The summer has vanished in a fever of work.
And now the mistral is blowing.
Always the wind, restless and unceasing.
Sweeping among the dead leaves in a rage,
so that I'm forced to remain indoors.
Now and then, when the storm inside me gets too loud,
I take a glass too much to distract me.
I must watch out for my nerves.
I'm getting haggard, I know.
If I go on this way,
some day or other there may be a crisis.
Yet I can't stop.
Sometimes I work on into the night.
And I'm hardly conscious of myself anymore,
and the pictures come as in a dream with a terrible lucidity.
[BILLIARD BALLS CLACKING]
What time did he get here?
About 4 this morning.
As usual, two coffees, three absinthes.
Did he eat anything?
What do you think?
Good morning, Roulin.
I brought something for you.
From your brother.
What I want to know is, when do I get paid?
I don't mind carrying him for a day or two,
but this time it's over two weeks.
I must be as crazy as he is.
What do you think this is, a reading room?
How much he owe?
Well, here's 10. Shut up.
Now. Here, let me give you a hand.
Where were you painting last night?
We were looking for you everywhere,
all over the place. Couldn't find you.
No, it's good news. He's getting married.
Let's go right back and celebrate.
Um, uh, do you know the girl?
She's a Dutch girl.
He's going to Holland this weekend to meet her family.
Mother will be happy.
She- she's always wanted one of us to get married. And...
When you write to your brother,
wish him well from me and my family.
Oh, yes, yes, I will.
"But this doesn't mean that I don't wish you both happiness with all my heart.
"With your wife, you won't be lonely anymore.
Your house won't be empty."
He must be so alone down there.
You two have always been so close.
Is there anything we can do, Theo, to help him?
I wish I knew.
If only I could sell something of his.
Just one, that'd be a help.
Heaven knows I've tried.
He asks about Gauguin again too.
He wants me to persuade him to go down there.
It might work.
When they were here last winter,
they seemed to get on.
Vincent was one of the few people Paul didn't attack.
Perhaps if they were together,
if Vincent could have someone with him,
to whom he could pour out his heart.
Do you think Gauguin would do it?
I'd have to send him some money.
Enough to pay his debts in Brittany,
and get him down to Arles.
It could be the solution for both of them.
[TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWING]
You're really here.
Yes, I'm here.
You're a day early.
Theo told me you wouldn't come here till--
Let me take these things. Come on up, Paul.
Did you have trouble finding the place?
Oh, your painting things are here, and canvases.
They arrived the day before yesterday.
Oh, I- I fixed this room up for you.
It's very nice.
I painted them for you.
Well, that's very friendly of you, Vincent.
That's very friendly.
Have you had anything to eat?
Come on downstairs.
I've got something on the stove.
I can't wait to see the things you did in Brittany.
I think you'll be interested.
The way you wrote about them.
I may have hit something there I-
I never quite got before.
It was all I could do to keep from opening them up
and looking at them.
Be ready in just a minute.
Take your time.
Well, I see you've been working.
That's not difficult in this part of the world.
I can't tell you, Paul.
You'll see for yourself.
In the morning, you open the window,
see, there's the green of the gardens.
Wait till you see the yellow fields at noon under the full sun.
And the light, you wouldn't believe it,
but all the time, these yellows are really here.
Everywhere you look, there's something to paint.
Oh, what an artist like you would do out here.
We'll go out this afternoon.
Wait a minute.
I'm not one of those painters that gets off the train
and turns out a sunlight effect
before he's even unpacked his bags.
Paul, show me the Brittany paintings, huh?
there's plenty of time for that.
Come on, let's eat.
A little heavy on the turpentine, isn't it?
What did you do, boil some old paint tubes?
Smells like it.
Vincent, from now on you...
You better let me do the cooking.
Even my worst enemies won't deny me that talent.
Vincent, do you have to live like this?
What do you mean?
How can you stand it?
Look at the paint in those brushes.
How can you work? It's a mess.
I've been so busy--
If we're gonna live together, might as well start right.
Let's get this place in order.
Show me the paintings.
That can wait.
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's confusion, mental or physical.
Now, this'll have to last us till the first.
After that, everything Theo sends us every month:
your allowance, his advance on my paintings
goes into this box.
Anything we spend, we write down.
So much for food, so much for drink,
for tobacco and other relaxation.
That way there'll be no more starving at the end of each month.
I still can't believe you're here.
Before you came here, I was a little frightened.
I'd been alone so long that... Nah.
I hope you, too, will find what you want here, Paul.
A chance to create in peace.
You know, this could be just the beginning.
We could get other painters here.
Make a colony of it. A studio of the south, with you at its head.
A father superior?
As its guiding force.
I thought maybe we'd ask Bernard
and Lautrec, only he'd never leave Paris.
Haven't you heard?
I've dismissed Mr. Signac from the legion of my devoted admirers.
He bores me.
Hey, what about Guillaumin and Seurat?
You know what I think of Seurat.
He's so ill. This place would do him good.
Wouldn't do me good.
I don't want that kind of painting around me.
Vincent, I've just spent a year beating my brains out.
I've sacrificed everything: execution, effect,
all the things that come easiest to me, for a style.
A style that'll convey the mood of what I see,
the idea, without regard for concrete reality.
What do you paint, then?
What's in my head.
Art's an abstraction, not a picture book.
A painting is a flat surface covered with lines and colors,
arranged in certain order.
Yeah, but, Theo-- I- I mean, Paul,
what about the arrangements that exist in nature?
I choose to disregard nature.
What I'm after are harmonies,
harmonies of pure color, deliberately composed
and carefully calculated,
that move you as- as music moves you.
But then you deny the greatest artists of all:
Rembrandt, Rubens, Delacroix, Millet--
Millet! That calendar artist with his dun-colored tones
and sentimental insipidities.
How dare you say that?
Millet's one of the few artists
that ever really captured the human spirit.
Here. In the dignity of toil.
Millet uses paint to express the word of God.
Then he should have been a preacher, not a painter.
If there's one thing I despise,
it's emotionalism in painting.
Vincent, painting is for painters.
Like your friend Degas, I suppose,
who's done nothing but ballet dancers and racehorses for 10 years.
You can learn something from him.
You can learn control!
I don't want control! I'm not afraid of emotion.
When I paint the sun, I want to make people feel it revolving,
giving off light and heat.
When I paint a peasant in the field,
I want to feel the sun pouring into him like it does into the corn--
is that what you do when you overload your brush?
When you slap paint on like putty?
When you make your trees writhe like snakes,
and your sun explode all over the canvas?
With all your talk of emotion,
what I see when I look at your work is that you paint too fast!
You look too fast!
Whatever you say, brigadier.
Maybe you're right.
Maybe we need another drink.
I'm sorry, Paul. I...
Look, Paul, when I painted the night cafe,
I tried to show evil.
The most violent passions of humanity.
I painted it blood red and dark yellow.
And a green billiard table in the middle.
Four lemon-yellow lamps
with a glare of orange and green,
in an atmosphere of pale sulfur, like a furnace.
I tried to show a place where a man can ruin himself,
commit a crime.
What's all of this talk about Arlesian women?
I haven't seen a good one yet.
They must have heard you were coming, and they locked them up.
Wait till you see. There's something about them,
the way they carry themselves,
even--even the old ones,
a certain classic grace and dignity.
Dignity? I'm talking about women, man. Women.
I like 'em fat, vicious, and not too smart.
Nothing spiritual, either.
To have to say "I love you" would break my teeth.
I don't want to be loved.
You really mean that, Paul.
Let's get out of here. Show me the rest of the town.
Wait a minute. Here.
You pig! Kill him! Tear him apart!
You pig! Kill him!
You didn't tell me the ballet was in town.
Wait--wait--wait a minute. Wait a minute, you're tired.
MAN: Come on!
There. That's more like it.
Now the town's coming to life.
Come on now. Come on. Stop it.
Stop that. Get her out of here.
Get her out of here.
And you, I don't want any more trouble in this place. See?
Come on, now get out.
I told the captain I wouldn't return until tomorrow.
Hello, Vincent, my friend.
Hello, redhead. Where have you been?
I thought you must have gone away.
Oh, I've been working.
What's the matter?
Don't you like me anymore?
WOMAN: Hi. Buy me a drink?
My friend's come to town.
I've been getting the place ready for him.
No, he's a painter, like me.
WOMAN: Thanks, sir.
He's not like you, redhead.
Look, a masterpiece, direct from the salons. See?
Better send it to Theo before the Louvre grabs it.
Paul, this is Rachel.
Uh, Vincent, why do I do it?
Here I pride myself on my sense of logic and order,
and inside I'm a savage.
I have this, uh, this attraction to violence.
Violence makes me sick.
I have too much inside me. I'm afraid of it.
Oh, that's why I let it out before it hurts me.
Last winter in Martinique,
I got into a fight with some sailors.
I was in the hospital for a month.
But it was worth it.
Even that piddling brawl out there
made me feel better than I have in weeks.
And I know why.
Because suddenly there's something in front of you,
something you can hit at.
He stands there, you smash his teeth in, or he does it to you.
Either way, it's all right. There's a decision.
Is everything all right?
[VINCENT] Dear Theo, I'm so happy to have Gauguin here.
Not to be alone anymore.
It's of tremendous value to me to see him work.
He's a very great artist, and a good friend.
It doesn't seem to work. Doesn't work.
Paul, could you come over and take a look?
Vincent, I'm trying to catch this light.
I remember what you said.
I soften my colors, I try to control them.
Then I lose everything.
Go back and try again.
That's what I mean.
You see how pale and thin that sky is?
You use the same brush strokes all over.
It's got no texture, no energy. It's all flat.
That's the way I see it!
[VINCENT] We argue, of course, mainly about painting.
And our arguments are so electric
that I come out of them often with my brain tired,
like a run-down battery.
What are you nervous about?
We should be out there working.
Look at that sunlight, Gauguin.
Yeah. Listen to that wind.
Wind doesn't show in a painting.
What about it?
I'm doing fine right here,
or I would be if you'd only like some place.
I'm tired of being cooped up here.
It wouldn't hurt you to work inside for once.
Use your imagination, invent.
Why should I invent here
when nature does it so much better out there?
Go out there then, who's stopping you?
This is ridiculous. I can't work like this!
Tie down your easel.
No wonder they call you crazy around here.
Come on, Vincent, let's get out of here.
Give it up! You can't paint in this gale.
I've done it plenty of times.
Yes, and I've seen the results.
I'm going back. I'm sick of all this.
The sun burns the eyes out of your head.
The stinking mistral blows you to pieces.
I'm sick of this whole miserable countryside.
And that--that house, too.
I don't know what I'm doing here or why I ever came.
If that's the way you feel, then why don't you leave?
Do you want to know why?
Because I haven't got the money.
Our-- Our-- Our money from Theo.
Can I-- Can I pour you a drink, Paul?
Paul, all the way home, I-- I kept thinking...
I wonder, Paul, if only we'd tried a little.
If we'd made some effort to remain friends,
if it wouldn't have been better for both of us.
I see you finished it.
Oh, yes, because, Paul, when you look back,
so much of life is wasted in loneliness.
There's not one of us that doesn't need friends,
I can do without attachments.
I've learned to avoid them.
VINCENT: How can you say that, Paul?
I mean, even you, you have your family.
Do you ever think of them?
Your children, you see them so seldom.
Mind your own business.
Oh, Paul, all I mean is that, you know,
you, too, must-- Must have times
when you have a terrible--
Why don't you shut up?
If you have to slobber, don't do it over me.
You'll have no trouble finding subjects.
You mourn over a pair of old shoes.
You cry when you read Uncle Tom's Cabin.
You bleed with millet over the nobility of toil.
For weeks I've been listening to that slop, and I'm tired of it!
What do you know about toil?
When have you done a stroke of manual labor in your life?
Well, I have.
I've dug ditches in the stinking heat of the tropics.
I've worked on the docks in weather so cold,
my hands froze to the ropes.
And I can tell you
there's nothing noble or beautiful about it.
I did it so I could go on painting!
I didn't have a brother to support me!
Don't ever do that again.
Paul, where are you going?
I'm getting out before one of us gets killed.
I'll be back for my things in the morning.
Please don't go, Paul.
If you only knew how lonely I was before you came.
I know all about loneliness. Only, I don't whine about it.
What's your name?
Your friend is in there...
Why haven't you sent for the doctor?
There's one on the way.
His ear's been slashed off.
What went on last night?
I don't know. I wasn't here.
You live here.
Why did you leave?
Did you two have a fight?
the doctor's here.
INSPECTOR: Right this way, doctor.
When did you find him?
INSPECTOR: About an hour ago.
Has he been conscious at all?
INSPECTOR: Not at all.
It's a wonder he didn't bleed to death.
INSPECTOR: Self-inflicted, doctor?
Looks that way.
INSPECTOR: What do you think, doc?
Well, don't worry. You won't have a corpse on your hands.
The thing is to get it cauterized and cleaned.
Gendarme, water and towels, please.
POLICEMAN: Right away, sir.
You might as well know, that man's unbalanced.
Don't take my word for it. Ask anyone around.
Last night, he got worse.
Just my being here seemed to drive him out of his mind.
If I'm here when he comes to,
and he sees me, after all that's happened,
it could be fatal to him.
Will you need me for anything more?
No, I guess not.
I'll notify his brother.
What do you want here?
Nothing better to do than hang around cluttering up the square?
Why don't you go home and leave the man alone?
He's sick and he needs rest!
This is no sideshow!
You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!
Go on home! Go on!
Leave me alone!
Come on, redhead!
Leave me alone!
What happened to the other ear?
I've just been with Dr. Rey.
You're doing very well.
Quite soon, now, you'll be able to travel.
Johanna and I want you to--
I want to have myself committed.
I want to go to an asylum.
I have to, Theo.
One more of these attacks could leave me helpless,
like a crab on its back.
Unable even to do away with myself.
You could come and live with us in Paris
and have a reasonable life.
I'll see that none of this ever happens again.
Will you and Johanna take turns watching me,
to make sure the symptoms aren't coming back?
When your baby's born...
I'm a danger to others, I'm a danger to myself.
Believe me, I'll be better off in an asylum.
You mustn't think like that.
Find a place for me to go.
Don't be sad. It won't be for long.
Just long enough for me to find a little order in my life.
A little peace.
[TRAIN HORN BLOWING]
Yes, your brother has stated the case most clearly,
including the fact...
that you have voluntarily committed yourself here.
Mental disease is no different from any other ailment
you might have contracted.
And these hallucinations you speak of,
once you recognize them
as the normal accompaniment of disturbances of this sort,
whether--whether congenital or acquired,
once you accept your state for what it is,
half the terror has gone out of it.
You do see that, don't you?
beyond that, peace and rest.
Regular routine in agreeable surroundings.
You know, in this entire institution at the moment,
we've no more than 11 male patients.
The food is plain but, uh, healthy.
And above all, it is quiet. Yes.
Yes, it--it is quiet.
Ah, now, here is our superintendent.
This is Mr. Vincent van Gogh from Holland.
Now, why don't you take Mr. Van Gogh to his room,
and let him know some of our rules and habits.
No, no, we'll, uh,
we'll store those away for you for a little while
until you see what you need.
Meanwhile, any time you need me, uh...
...mutilated his left ear.
In view of the above,
and in the light of my examination of the patient,
it is my professional opinion
that it will be necessary for Mr. Van Gogh
to undergo extended observation and treatment
in this institution.
Signed, Dr. Peyron, dated Saint-Remy, May 9, 1889.
PEYRON: van Gogh, Vincent, June 14.
The patient's condition appears satisfactory,
with continued improvement.
Continues to suffer, however,
from a condition of chronic inertia,
accompanied by symptoms of extreme terror.
Would you like me to open the window?
The view is lovely from here.
General condition of patient: fair.
PEYRON: He has requested that his painting equipment
and other personal effects
be placed in his room.
But the mower? Is he imaginary?
There's no one in that field.
Oh, that's just any man,
struggling in the heat to finish his work.
It's the figure of death.
It doesn't seem a sad death.
Oh, it's not, sister.
It happens in the bright daylight,
with the sun flooding everything in--
in a light of pure gold.
It would appear that painting is beneficial,
for this patient's well-being.
Provided, of course,
that he is not permitted to indulge
in those excesses of work and emotion
that induced his former crisis.
This latest seizure was the most severe,
that your brother has suffered to date.
As a result
of constant attention
he is today approaching physical recovery.
He now expresses the desire to leave this institution...
with the intention of taking up residence in the north.
And since you support him
in this request,
he will be discharged,
as soon as he is considered fit to travel.
It's good to see you.
It's about time.
Oh, you're just as pretty as I thought you'd be.
Don't you think he looks well, Theo?
He looks better than I do.
Where's that baby? When do I get to see him?
but since he's your namesake, you can go in.
You try and keep me out.
Oh, I brought him a little present.
I hope he likes it.
THEO: There's your nephew.
Oh, he's a real van Gogh.
When Willemien was here,
she said he looked more like Father than anyone.
No, there's some of Johanna in him.
Look at those hands and see how well-behaved he is.
JOHANNA: Just wait till he gets hungry.
Vincent! Are you all right?
THEO: come sit down.
You'll be all right.
I-I'm--I'm fine. I--I was dizzy for a moment.
I'll get you some coffee.
Oh, thanks, Johanna.
No, I'm all right, really. It was a long trip.
I left the best news until you got here.
Your painting of the red vineyard.
What about it?
It sold for 400 francs.
Oh, who bought it?
A painter. Anna Bock.
She lives in Brussels.
Oh, that's fine. I--I'm glad...
I had no idea I'd sent you so much stuff.
It certainly adds up.
I-I've hardly given you room to move around.
We still have some space to squeeze a few people in here.
As a matter of fact,
I was thinking of asking some of your friends over tonight.
He's in Brittany.
But Lautrec, Pissarro, Bernard, they want to see you.
We ought to celebrate your first sale.
Or would you rather leave it till later?
No, no, make it tonight. I...
I think the sooner I get settled in Auvers, the better.
No, it isn't as if I were going a long ways off.
Why, you can all come out and see me on Sunday.
Is, uh, everything set there with Dr. Gachet?
Is he expecting me?
Pissarro made all the arrangements.
They were here together last week.
Did they see my new things?
Oh, Gachet got so excited.
He wouldn't leave until I'd lent him a couple.
did you explain to him about me?
Yes, Vincent, I did.
He seems very confident.
Oh, thanks, Johanna. Good Dutch cookies.
Oh, I don't understand you, Theo.
With such fine Dutch cooking in the house,
it's about time you put some flesh on those bones of yours.
I'm really very, very hopeful, Vincent.
Dr. Gachet's got a very good name,
THEO: and he says that...
Dr. Gachet, you see, that's what I have to know.
Will there be a warning? Will I have time to--
About those seizures of yours, do you want my opinion?
Forget them, completely.
Tell yourself you're finished with them,
and work boldly and joyously.
Vincent, you don't know how lucky you are.
To have done one painting like that cypress in there
or those sunflowers that your brother showed me,
I'd give 10 years of my life.
Don't you like your wine?
Oh, I don't drink much these days.
Yes, for a painter, work is the only medicine there is.
And this is the place for it.
Come in. Come in.
Cezanne's. Do you recognize it?
He painted it right in this room.
And, uh, that is this house.
He painted that from, uh, across the street.
There's hardly a canvas here, that wasn't done in this house.
Or within 100 yards of it.
Have you seen this Daumier?
It's a wonder.
Strong, isn't it?
Yes, he came here many times, Daumier.
He was a strange one.
So, you see, when I tell you,
that I understand the artistic temperament...
When Manet was dying,
they, uh, they called me in for consultation.
They wanted to amputate.
I said no.
No, not for a man like that.
But they wouldn't listen.
Lunch is served, Doctor.
Ah, you can put it on the table now.
We'll be right out.
It's a beauty, isn't it?
If you like, I'll, uh, take you out,
and show you where he painted it.
I wanted him to join us at Arles.
Oh, look, it's warped.
You better have it framed.
Oh, tsk, tsk.
I was meaning to take it in. Well, I will.
I'll do it tomorrow.
VINCENT: Dear Theo, I've seen Dr. Gachet.
He's a pleasant man.
He has some good paintings in his house.
He wants me to do his portrait.
But as for his helping me,
I'm afraid we mustn't hope for too much.
When the blind lead the blind,
don't they both fall in the ditch?
Oh, Mr. Vincent.
What time would you like to have your breakfast in the morning?
Oh, don't worry about that. I'll be out early.
Before you get up.
Just leave some bread and some cold coffee. That'll be fine.
VINCENT Gachet is right about one thing.
This place is beautiful.
It tempts me to paint and the work goes well.
GACHET: You'd think being a doctor,
seeing so much of pain and suffering,
that I've got problems enough for one man.
I go around founding societies and joining groups,
and then this--this passion of mine for art.
VINCENT: Besides portraits,
I've been doing some landscapes.
I have a feeling of being surer of my brush than ever before.
So I work in haste from day to day,
as a miner does who knows he's facing disaster.
ALL: Vive Monsieur le Maire!
CHILDREN: Vive Monsieur le Maire!
ALL: Vive Monsieur le Maire!
I can make a joke of this whole sorry business,
if it wasn't for the trouble I've caused you.
If you'd at least have gotten back
the cost of paint and the canvas.
Is the baby really better?
We were worried about nothing.
He--he was just teething.
That was all of his trouble.
I only hope he has a quieter soul than mine,
'cause mine's sinking.
I'd like to go home.
My own brother.
My poor, poor brother.
SISTER: It doesn't seem a sad death.
VINCENT: It's not, sister.
It happens in the bright daylight,
the sun flooding everything in a light of pure gold.