Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski Reviews

  • Feb 15, 2019

    Fascinating documentary about a a forgotten sculptor, artist, poet, Polish nationalist, visionary and demented genius Stanislaw Szukalski. The team that made this documentary do a fabulous job of giving a sense of the man, his works, his visions and how he changed over time, mellowing but becoming even battier by his 80's. Also, goes in to how many of the interviewees in the film came to know Szukalski - or, as some indicate in their interviews, be misled and 'betrayed' by him - from the 1960's until he died. Very engaging and runs the gamut of emotions throughout. Well worth seeing. SPOILER ALERT! The teasers on Netflix lead you to think there is some dark secret to be revealed that kept Szukalski from achieving greatness. The film eventually leads up to the fact that Szukalski had a number of sexist and bigoted ideas/beliefs that he had no qualms about expressing. This include having published a short lived nationalist and anti-Semitic pamphlet series in pre-WW II Poland. IMO some of the interviewees come off as some what politically correct in a bad way judging this sin as so heinous while they obviously could overlook his sexism and bigotry since he was clearly an artistic genius.

    Fascinating documentary about a a forgotten sculptor, artist, poet, Polish nationalist, visionary and demented genius Stanislaw Szukalski. The team that made this documentary do a fabulous job of giving a sense of the man, his works, his visions and how he changed over time, mellowing but becoming even battier by his 80's. Also, goes in to how many of the interviewees in the film came to know Szukalski - or, as some indicate in their interviews, be misled and 'betrayed' by him - from the 1960's until he died. Very engaging and runs the gamut of emotions throughout. Well worth seeing. SPOILER ALERT! The teasers on Netflix lead you to think there is some dark secret to be revealed that kept Szukalski from achieving greatness. The film eventually leads up to the fact that Szukalski had a number of sexist and bigoted ideas/beliefs that he had no qualms about expressing. This include having published a short lived nationalist and anti-Semitic pamphlet series in pre-WW II Poland. IMO some of the interviewees come off as some what politically correct in a bad way judging this sin as so heinous while they obviously could overlook his sexism and bigotry since he was clearly an artistic genius.

  • Feb 04, 2019

    over-wrought, melodramatic sculpture, but a good story and a first-rate alternative history of civilization. a beautiful freak.

    over-wrought, melodramatic sculpture, but a good story and a first-rate alternative history of civilization. a beautiful freak.

  • Jan 28, 2019

    A well-done, long overdue, look into the life and work of a true genius.

    A well-done, long overdue, look into the life and work of a true genius.

  • Jan 14, 2019

    Very interesting film about an unknown artist who many thought was a genius and the most important sculptor of the 20th century.

    Very interesting film about an unknown artist who many thought was a genius and the most important sculptor of the 20th century.

  • Jan 13, 2019

    A remarkable well told, interesting in-depth life story of someone who would have been better off forgotten.

    A remarkable well told, interesting in-depth life story of someone who would have been better off forgotten.

  • Jan 04, 2019

    Wonderful docu film of an amazing artist

    Wonderful docu film of an amazing artist

  • Jan 02, 2019

    Never having heard of Szukalski I went without much curiosity. I left the film with a renewed and colossal curiosity about life and art. The film is structured in an intriguing way that makes it able to tell a biographical account without being dry and stodgy.

    Never having heard of Szukalski I went without much curiosity. I left the film with a renewed and colossal curiosity about life and art. The film is structured in an intriguing way that makes it able to tell a biographical account without being dry and stodgy.

  • Jan 01, 2019

    Great movie if you want to watch a bunch of old white people feel sympathy for an anti-semite and racist and skirt all responsibility for trying to carry on his tainted artistic legacy. Why not make a companion documentary talking about the wonders of phrenology (as that would surely fit in perfectly alongside with Szukalski's racist Zermatism)? Yes, Szukalski may have reformed his nationalist and anti-semitic views by the end of his life but Zermatism reeks of blatant racism of which the director only touches on for a brief few seconds and then follows with a tear-filled ending. With the exception of one or two moments of remorse shown in interviews with his friends at the end of his life the director of this movie took the easy/lazy way out and didn't force the issue that in this day and age there is should be no excuses given for propping up megalomaniac racists, regardless or whether or not you enjoy their art. I'm at a total loss trying to understand the point of this movie as anything other than a portrait of self-absorbed white people feeling bad for other shitty white people.

    Great movie if you want to watch a bunch of old white people feel sympathy for an anti-semite and racist and skirt all responsibility for trying to carry on his tainted artistic legacy. Why not make a companion documentary talking about the wonders of phrenology (as that would surely fit in perfectly alongside with Szukalski's racist Zermatism)? Yes, Szukalski may have reformed his nationalist and anti-semitic views by the end of his life but Zermatism reeks of blatant racism of which the director only touches on for a brief few seconds and then follows with a tear-filled ending. With the exception of one or two moments of remorse shown in interviews with his friends at the end of his life the director of this movie took the easy/lazy way out and didn't force the issue that in this day and age there is should be no excuses given for propping up megalomaniac racists, regardless or whether or not you enjoy their art. I'm at a total loss trying to understand the point of this movie as anything other than a portrait of self-absorbed white people feeling bad for other shitty white people.

  • Dec 31, 2018

    Nice look at the artist and his work, some great interviews with people who knew him. But it pushed hard to be a political hit piece, Nationalism is bad, globalism is good nonsense,. Why do they have to equate any kind of national or ethnic pride/solidarity with being a Nazi ? Hmmm, must be an agenda there... but this is the flavor of Netflicks, with Mr & Mrs O , and Dicapprio, being brought on board. Could have been a good film without the twisted propaganda .

    Nice look at the artist and his work, some great interviews with people who knew him. But it pushed hard to be a political hit piece, Nationalism is bad, globalism is good nonsense,. Why do they have to equate any kind of national or ethnic pride/solidarity with being a Nazi ? Hmmm, must be an agenda there... but this is the flavor of Netflicks, with Mr & Mrs O , and Dicapprio, being brought on board. Could have been a good film without the twisted propaganda .

  • Dec 29, 2018

    This beautiful and scandaleous tale of a genius artist through the adoration and disappointed eyes of those who loved him will leave you intrigued and in awe - highly recommend

    This beautiful and scandaleous tale of a genius artist through the adoration and disappointed eyes of those who loved him will leave you intrigued and in awe - highly recommend