It was the largest art heist in US history, but you’ve probably never heard of it.
Netflix is changing this with the new documentaries “This is a Heist: The World’s Greatest Art Heist,” which guides the viewer through an investigation into the heist of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
The four-part series started a little slowly, perhaps because it started with two of the most basic of the 5 W’s: where and when?
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.
Sunday, March 18, 1990, 1:24 a.m.
The first episode leads the viewer through the history of the museum. It goes into great detail about the founder Isabella Stewart Gardner and even takes a close look at the architecture of the building. It spends a lot of time explaining the cultural significance of St. Patrick’s Day to the city of Boston and the traditional Sunday parade.
It honestly felt like something you would see in a history class in high school. But be patient, because you are about to get into the goods: what?
Thirteen works of art, valued at an estimated $ 500 million, were stolen.
Documentary lists and shows the episode of each piece, including the artist name and the date of creation. Some notable stolen pieces include Rembrandt’s 1633 oil on canvas “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” and “The Concert” by Vermeer.
After the inventory listing, the real fun begins when the narrative shifts to the investigation: How?
Two thieves posing as Boston cops knocked on the museum door and a security guard hummed them in. The story is told from different perspectives, but the most interesting from here is the first-person report from security officer Richard Abath.
The series includes interviews with several other security guards, a security advisor, an art thief, some witnesses, several reporters, the museum director and some FBI agents. There is a lot of unique evidence and weird details that make you scratch your head and ask, why?
Nobody knows for sure, but the series leads the viewer through various possible motifs and scenarios. International currency? Collector? Security?
If you’re a real crime fan or just love a good puzzle, you’ll get invested from halfway through the first through the second episode as the series delves into the details of the case.
The last two parts of the limited series focus on the one remaining question: who?
The timeline moves closer to the present as the narrative follows the ongoing investigation and continues to search for the missing art. The third episode brings the most colorful of all interviews, Donna Reissfelder. She is a real character and her commentary is unbeatable in terms of voice.
Each episode lasts between 50 minutes and an hour. Some of the newly created video scenes are a bit repetitive and unnecessarily dramatic, but the series also contains real images and footage.
Once you’ve crossed the foundations of the first episode, This is a Robbery pulls you into the background with a compelling storyline and a variety of viewpoints and theories so that viewers can ultimately come to their own conclusions.