Apolonia, Apolonia

Apolonia, Apolonia

Lea Glob / 2022 / 116 / Denmark, Poland, France

When Danish filmmaker Lea Glob first met Apolonia Sokol in 2009, she appeared to be leading a storybook life.

The talented Apolonia was born in an underground theatre in Paris and grew up in an artist community — the ultimate bohemian life. In her 20s, she studied at the Beaux-Arts de Paris, one of the most prestigious art academies in Europe. Over the years, Lea kept returning to film Apolonia as the latter sought her place in the art world, grappling with the agonies and joys of womanhood, the relationships with others and her own body and creation.

The result is a fascinating portrait of the young woman’s trying voyage into the art world. Apolonia is confident in her talent, but her path is not always an easy one to tread. Life is not a storybook, and Apolonia learns that women painters have to make more sacrifices and overcome greater obstacles than their male counterparts. This also applied to the friend she lived with for a long time, Oksana Shachko, one of the founders of the feminist action group Femen. Apolonia’s resilience is put to the test.

As time passes and a special bond grows between Apolonia and Lea, we witness a film being born and a painter rising to fame. 13 years on, the two women continue to reflect on each other’s paths in this mesmerising film about art, love, motherhood, sexuality, representation, and how to succeed in a world dominated by patriarchy, capitalism and war, without losing oneself.

  • “Critic's Pick! A wide-ranging documentary about life itself... Beguiling.”

    — Alissa Wilkinson, The New York Times
  • "A keen reflection on creativity, motherhood, and friendship."

    — Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter
  • "Layered and substantial... an impressively idiosyncratic, far-reaching work."

    — Guy Lodge, Variety