and seeks to find center again by making a documentary of (in roughly this
order) her youth, parents, rise on the comedy scene, implosion on said scene, psychotherapy, meeting her homicidal boyfriend, using his contacts to talk to other comedians about their experiences, feuding with Jerry Seinfeld, cross
country trips, her boyfriends potential gay lover, etc. Needless to say, it feels a bit scattered. But amidst the clutter, there is a beautiful film in here. If only the filmmakers had been able to polish and edit the material down and stick to the heart of the issue. The access they had to notable comedians (and comediennes) is staggering
and worth watching for that reason alone. And Maija's journey from shattered
ego to eventual rebirth is inspiring for any artist. It is mostly Ken Simmons that seems to derail this particular train, physically, emotionally, verbally. The man is a juggernaut, barreling through life like the minotaur. Admirable in its way, I mean, he is the reason we even get to see
Richard Pryor in all his decimated glory, but truly the film spends to much time dealing with him, his ego, and his exploits. Inspiring if a little flawed, Bitter Jester is a film you must see if you are an aspiring comedian, an artist, or just a caring, feeling human being.