'My Kid Could Paint That' - or could she?

Marla paints
Marla Olmstead at work. Marla and her family are the subject of "My Kid Could Paint That" which examines what happens when a 4-year-old's paintings begin selling for tens of thousands of dollars.
Image courtesy Sony Pictures Classics

Amir Bar-Lev's life changed the day he heard abstract paintings by a 4-year-old girl were selling for thousands of dollars.

He thought examining Marla Olmstead's story might make for a good documentary about how people decide the value of a piece of art, and whether the fact it's done by a child makes it more valuable.

But Bar-Lev soon found he'd got more than he bargained for.

Amir bar Lev
Amir Bar-Lev started to make a film about the value of art, but his film "My Kid Could Paint That" is an examination of art, the media, and a film maker's responsibility to a subject.
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

Then the Olmsteads suddenly became the center of an international media backlash. Bar-Lev's film about what happened, called "My Kid Could Paint That," opens locally this weekend.

He told Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr some people are enraptured by Marla's huge colorful abstracts.

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