The Last Family (2016)

The Last Family (2016)

A captivating glimpse into the life of one of Poland's best-known 20th-century painters

7.5

Movie

Poland
Polish
Drama
2016
JAN P. MATUSZYNSKI
Agnieszka Michalska, Aleksandra Konieczna, Alicja Karluk
124 min

What it's about

Beksiński is a gentle man with arachnophobia, despite his hardcore sexual fantasies and his fondness for painting disturbing dystopian works. Beksiński is a family man who wants only the best for his loving wife Zofia, neurotic son Tomasz and the couple's aging mothers. His daily painting to classical music eventually pays off and he makes a name for himself in contemporary art. Good Catholic woman Zofia tries to hold the family together, but troubled son Tomasz proves to be a handful with his violent outbursts and suicidal threats. Their relief is brief when he starts dating women and becomes a radio presenter and movie translator, and the concerned parents must be on constant watch to prevent their son from hurting himself. But Beksiński never believed that family life would always be sunshine and rainbows. As he tapes everything with his beloved camcorder, the 28-year Beksiński saga unfolds through paintings, near-death experiences, dance music trends and funerals...

The take

Set between the years 1977 and 2005, this Polish drama goes through various stages in the life of the controversial surrealist-expressionist painter Zdzisław Beksiński. The extensive video archive left behind by the artist was used to craft an intimate portrait of three interdependent people: Beksiński himself, his suicidal and neurotic son, and his wife.

Beksiński is superbly played by veteran actor Andrzej Seweryn, known for his appearance in numerous Andrzej Wajda films. Even though the film focuses less on Zdzisław's painting career and more on his relationship with his family, it will definitely inspire you to dig deeper into both his tragic life and impressively dark body of work. 

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