The Dog and The Duck

This is the story of an extraordinary elder mentor told by a female voice.

Mid-twenties Silvia (Director) recalls her personal life-changing journey with Joe Blaustein, an expressionistic artist in his eighties who transformed her view of life, of art and of feminine beauty.

Through a choir of Joe's students' original and raw artwork and their stories emerges the power of a real teacher, one who is able to help each individual's hidden voice emerge and give shape and color to one's most authentic self.

In particular, it's Eileen's story that comes forth, as she will transform during Joe's classes from being a lost divorcee in her forties and overweight into becoming a powerful woman and liberated artist who is not afraid to undress and pose as an art model.

  • Silvia Gallini
    Losing My Cherry, Joe Blaustein and The Flood of Florence, Feathers
  • Silvia Gallini
  • Kristina Schulte-Eversum
  • Arndt Peemoeller
  • Danijel Sraka
  • Silvia Gallini
    Joe Blaustein and the Flood of Florence
  • Cliff Retallick
  • Kristina Schulte-Eversum
  • Arndt Peemoeller
  • Joseph Blaustein
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Biography, Inspirational, Art documentary
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 8 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 31, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Italy, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Silvia Gallini

Silvia is an Italian artist and filmmaker who has recently moved back to Italy after a long detour in California where she earned an MFA in Film Directing from the American Film Institute and studied film and painting in several smaller programs at other schools.

In Los Angeles she also met Joe Blaustein at UCLA who became her art teacher and mentor, as well as the subject of her first documentary feature 'The Dog and the Duck".

Today she teaches art courses and Italian from her studio in Tuscany, where she also paints and watches wild birds.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"The Dog and the Duck" is my first feature film and it makes sense to me that I dedicate it to the man who cracked open my creativity and christened me as being "an artist": Joe Blaustein, whom this film is about.

He was already an elder when I met him in his historical art course at UCLA Extension, and I was a preoccupied and terrified 26 year old with zero self esteem - and I certainly was never going to be an artist because my family had not allowed me to study art.

That day, when I found myself sitting on a horse bench with a naked art model in front of me and I begun to sense the thick ancient wall that stood between me and my freedom of expression, was the beginning of my liberation as an artist but also as a person. Joe looked like a Medieval monk dressed in hip painter's jeans and sneakers, and immediately welcomed me on a journey that took me, after several years of frustration and hard work, straight into myself.

That day of the spring of 2005 is not in the movie, but a lot of what followed is. I found myself in a cohort of amazingly talented artists who for the most part had completely non-artistic jobs, but who had found in Joe the teacher who helped them find the key to their creativity through line and color. It was my goal and my hope to include these artists' journeys along with mine in this film, and to explore Joe's unique and unpretentious talent of bringing us all home to ourselves with painting.

Joe Blaustein is a true Mentor and may this film bring inspiration and hope not only to blocked artists but to elders who are seeking to thrive in their last chapters; Joe always loves to quote Georges Braque as he said that with age life becomes more and more like a work of art.