The Last Family (2016)

The Last Family (2016)
7.5
  • 3274
  • Genre: Biography
  • Release year: 2016 ()
  • Running time: 123 min
  • Original Title: Ostatnia rodzina
  • Voted: 3274

As renowned painter Zdzislaw Beksinski tapes everything with his beloved camcorder, a 28-year family saga unfolds through his disturbing dystopian paintings, family feuds, near-death experiences, love-hate relations and consecutive funerals. The true story of the artistic Beksinski family: Zdzislaw, his wife Zofia and their talented yet trouble-making son Tomasz.

#PersonCharacters
1Andrzej SewerynZdzislaw Beksinski
2Dawid OgrodnikTomasz Beksinski
3Aleksandra KoniecznaZofia Beksinska
4Andrzej ChyraPiotr Dmochowski
  • It's a mad mad mad mad family. by 8

    This is really something. I could not believe I saw it. It was challenging, but I did it. When a biopic was made, surely there will be a solid reason behind it. That could be a positive message or highlighting the negatives or the important historic events. But it's always about how much you know about that person the film portrayed. If he is someone famous, but not in your nation, yeah, you would be desperate to learn about him through the given film. That's the case for me in here, but that's not what exactly happened.

    This was a life drama of one of the renowned Polish painters of the last century. Mainly focused on him, his family and overall their lifestyle. It was not stylish, but craziest. Yep, I could not understand the entire film and thought why someone has to make a film like this. Then it was not until the final scene, I thought worth a watch. Moreover, I was shocked how it ended, after two hours of nothing, but a family madness. Yeah, the end was like another genre. You could consider it a black comedy, which is not actually, but somehow for the reasons it feels like that way, until the final scene.

    It was the last three decades of life story of Zdzislaw Besinski. Started off in the 70s, where his son moved to a new apartment close by. But he's a trouble who attempting to self-killing. Then his ageing mother has to be taken care. So, basically there's always an issue in the family. All this insanity keeps happening for the next couple of decades. As the years pass by, as the technology changing, so do this family, but shrinking from the strength. Until the mid 2000s, where the narration comes to halt with an unexpected twist.

    ?Wherever I go, I've to act like other people, do what everyone else does. I've got to play a role to get the things I want or to be liked. I've to keep acting. I can't get out of this.?

    The more I recollect everything I saw, the more I started to like it. You will agree with me that the film was uninteresting in the beginning. Not just the beginning, but almost entirely. Though the value of the film will be realised once you finish watching it and as I said while analysing the scenes in your head makes to change your stance. The opening scene and the end scene are totally opposite. That's the highlight of the film, and the meaning of the title. Anyway, the final scene was sudden and brutal. Not good for little fellows.

    A feature film debut for the director. He was good though. While watching it, I thought the writing was bad. One thing I have learnt in my life was that no judging a film by its poster, its synopsis or its cast and crew, and also not after watching just a few minutes of its opening. On a few occasions, the budgets as well. So, the key for this film is the patience. Sitting for it quietly over a hundred minutes will make the difference as it did for me. But that does not mean everyone would love it at the end.

    It somewhat looks like a documentary film, that's because of the film having plenty of found footage kind of narration in parts. The actors were amazing. Like the whole film was shot in a couple of flats with a few shots elsewhere. That means, the story firmly decoding the family and nothing else. The end was sad, I could not take it. But the film was just telling the truth. Not a kind of film to recommend, but surely worth a watch if you are not looking to have a good time, I meant to enjoy watching it.

    8/10

  • Go deep into a painter's life by 8

    Actors, actresses play convincing. Dawid Ogrodnik's acting in the beginning of the movie disturbed me a bit. But then I started to explore the magic of his acting. He is really good. The movie is not good for the ones seek for big adventures. It is about calm and interesting life of a painter. I can claim that it is one of the best movies from Polish cinema which i have watched before.

  • the saga of an unusual family by 9

    Jan P. Matuszynski, the director of the remarkable film 'Ostatnia rodzina' ('The Last Family') we saw at the Polish film festival organized by the local cinematheque was born in 1984. Part of the story in the film takes place before he has even been born, the rest during his childhood and adolescence. It is a debut film, but his achievement is even more formidable, because everything we see on screen during the two hours of projection gives the viewers a strong sense of authenticity. In many moments, if I hadn't read something about the movie, I could have sworn it was a docudrama, edited using the amateur movie film, especially since the main hero spends some time filming his own life with a video camera, one of the models that were fashionable in the '80s and' 90s. Of course, the script written by Robert Bolesto contributes to this sensation. It is very different from that of the movie 'Corki Dancing' ('Daughters of the dance' or 'The Lure') also written by him, which I saw a few days ago, a film which deals with the same period, but in a completely different style.

    For many of those who lived during the communist period in Eastern Europe, the setting in which the film takes place will be very familiar. It is one of those countless bedroom neighborhoods, consisting of blocks of apartments built in a Brutalist standard style, lacking any architectural personality, in which the 'working people' of Eastern European cities lived their existences. In two such standard apartments in two standard buildings in Warsaw, located close to each other, lived from the 1970s until 2005 the painter Zdzislaw Beksinski (Andrzej Seweryn), his wife Zofia (Aleksandra Konieczna) and his son Tomasz ( Dawid Ogrodnik). The family was however, far from standard. Zdzislaw Beksinski was an extraordinary painter, his works combining surrealism, fantasy and grotesque have an expressiveness and a power of fascination that are out of the ordinary. Son Tomasz, a hardly adaptable young man with an uncommon sensibility, was a translator of films and a DJ promoting contemporary music in a Poland that was awakening from communist censorship and reconnecting to the world. Zofia, the wife and mother, was the support and balance point of the family.

    'The Last Family' is apparently the filmed biography of a great artist but there is very little talk, almost none, about art. Zdzislaw Beksinski did not like speaking about his paintings, avoided public appearances, did not participate in the opening of his exhibitions. The film instead tells the biography of a family over three decades, it is a dysfunctional family, but what would a functional family mean in a dysfunctional society? The Beksinski's live by the communist standard and face the same problems as all their neighbors, and more broadly, as all the citizens of the communist bloc during that time, and later during the transition to capitalism. And yet, under these difficult conditions, Zdzislaw Beksinski created exceptional art, blowing up the barriers of the conventions and pushing the limits of the imagination. This creative process is presented indirectly, discreetly, with an emphasis on the human side and on the family relations. The actors are extraordinary, the physical resemblance of the actor Andrzej Seweryn to the painter is amazing, and everything we see on the screen is authentic and moving. Without talking explicitly about art, director Jan P. Matuszynski has made one of the best films about art, about art creators and the world around them.

#PersonCrew
1Kacper Fertaczcinematographer
2Atanas Valkovcomposer
3Jan P. Matuszynskidirector
4Leszek Bodzakproducer
5Aneta Cebula-Hickinbothamproducer
6Robert Bolestowriter