Why Jonah Hill made a documentary about Phil Stutz

As the film progresses, the film’s so-called “message” or “purpose” is repeatedly questioned by Jonah Hill himself. At one point, Hill actually talks about the film’s misrepresentation of ‘vulnerability’ on his part – pulling back the curtain to reveal he’s struggled tremendously with what he wants this film to be and that they’ve shot hours of footage across many different months in a futile attempt to create some sort of story.

The ultimate goal though, as prefaced in the film’s opening minutes, was to create a comprehensive documentary about Phil Stutz and present his teachings to the world – which the film hugely achieves. “Stutz” describes a detailed account of Stutz’s life to the present day, from his childhood in Manhattan to his early psychiatric work on Rikers Island, his development of “The Tools” and his tragic diagnosis of Parkinsons. As well as this portrait of his life, the film also delves into all the “tools” Stutz has developed over the years to help his patients deal with their mental health issues – including specific exercises like “The Shadow”, “Life Force, ‘The Snapshot’, ‘The Grateful Flow’ and ‘The Inversion of Desire’.

Although Jonah Hill may have had some concerns at first about the true purpose of “Stutz”, he ultimately achieved the two goals that prompted him to create this film – to present the best of Phil Stutz’s tools to an audience larger and create a detailed biopic that encompasses Stutz’s life and the unique patient-doctor relationship that Hill and Stutz share.

Leave a Comment