Review of “Apolonia, Apolonia” | Lea Glob masterfully captures the turbulent journey of a self-doubting artist

DENMARK, EUROPE: “Apolonia, Apolonia” is an award-winning Danish documentary by Lea Glob and takes us through the evolution of French painter Apolonia Sokol.

Filmed over 13 years, the film documents her turbulent career and reflects on what it means to be a contemporary woman artist in a world of patriarchy and capitalism.

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Apolonia Sokol’s canvas and Lea Glob’s lens find ways to tell stories

A person’s successes and failures are often examined superficially. However, the struggles and suffering remain buried in the person’s memory.

Only after years do we look back and see how far we have come and what we have lost. We don’t have cameras around us to capture our ups and downs, but Apolonia Sokol did.

Apolonia was born from two artists in an underground Parisian theater. She grew up in a bohemian culture, surrounded by poets, artists, actors and political activists.

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While continuing her studies at the Beaux-Arts in Paris, she met Léa Glob, a Danish filmmaker in 2009. Glob was immediately intrigued by Apolonia’s life and she began filming her.

His lens captured everything, Apolonia’s heartbreak, her struggles with endless debt, and her fight to save the theater. But most importantly, she captured her journey to making her way in the art world.

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Apolonia’s artistic journey from Paris to Denmark in the spotlight

In this captivating film, Apolonia’s artistic odyssey takes center stage. Struggling with the critical atmosphere of Paris, she struggles with her teacher’s remark that her paintings lack the appeal of her personality. Feeling the need to broaden her horizons, she embarked on a journey through the vibrant art scenes of New York and Los Angeles.

While an arts graduate, Apolonia finds herself at a crossroads in Paris, torn between the pursuit of artistic integrity and the lure of commercial success. The move to New York, promising opportunities, becomes a double-edged sword as the pressures of capitalism gradually stiffen the artist within her.

The imposition of monthly quotas begins to erode the essence of his art, prompting him to question the true purpose of his creations.

The powerful statement: “Why buy art when you can buy the artist?” » becomes a catalyst for change in Apolonia’s life. The film is about her struggle to free herself from the chains of capitalism and bring her back to Denmark. There, she rediscovers her artistic soul, creating works that authentically inspire her.

Apolonia’s journey unfolds on canvas as a reflection of her escape from societal norms. Her figurative paintings, born from a newfound artistic freedom, challenge stereotypes and empower women.

The film ends with her art being recognized as “impactful”, addressing crucial issues such as feminism and queer identity.

Beyond a story of artistic evolution, Apolonia’s story becomes a profound exploration of the artist’s struggle against external pressures, culminating in a return to authenticity and comfort in his craft.

“Apolonia, Apolonia” captures the lives of two women

This is not just the story of Apolonia, the popular French figurative painter. It’s the evolution of two women, one in front of the camera and one behind.

“Whether I captured Apolonia with my camera or Apolonia captured me in her theater,” says Lea, so immersed in Apolonia’s life that she couldn’t stop filming her until 13 years later late.

The two women spoke together about art, relationships, motherhood, sexuality, patriarchy and capitalism.

“Apolonia, Apolonia” is a fusion of two lives and a progression. During 13 years of youth, Apolonia and Lea shared a common, close and personal life.

The turmoil of a self-doubting artist and the trajectory of her life woven by her life experience, harsh criticism, and choices were beautifully captured by Lea Glob in her life’s work.

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