The New Waves Non fiction


Lech Kowalski | France | 2019 | 109 min.
O.V in French subtitled in English and Spanish

The mythical and combative Lech Kowalski explains his film like no else could: "A mixture of blues and rock and roll: that is the secret of a successful rebellion. When I arrived with my camera at the GM&S car factory, threatened to be shut down, I felt that something exceptional was about to happen. And so it was: lyrics written by workers on the verge of collapse, music composed by people determined to break all the rules. With enough volume to attract the media. His working-class concert spread like wildfire throughout France. And there I was, camera in hand, making my film thanks to the lyricism unleashed by these men and women. From a distance, but with them.


Instituto Frances

Direction: Lech Kowalski
Editing: Lech Kowalski, Odile Allard
Music: Sal Bernardi
Sound: Odile Allard, Thomas Fourel

Lech Kowalski

He was born in London to Polish parents displaced during World War II, and grew up in the United States. While in high school he started filming in super 8. He later studied at the New York School of Visual Arts, while working to maintain himself. He began in film as Tom Reichmann's assistant, and also worked on a variety of jobs: from porn films to being Shirley Clarke's assistant. In the late seventies, he got into the punk scene and made the cult film D.O.A. (1981), about the Sex Pistols. Later he also portrayed the hip hop scene in his short Breakdance Test. Following by films such as Gringo, about the art scene and drugs on the Lower East Side, and Rock Soup, about a social dining room. In 1991 he made the film about punk musician Johnny Thunders Born To Lose (the last rock and roll movie). At the end of the 90s he returned Europe and produced the Polish trilogy  to The Fabulous Art of Surviving. In the 2000's his cinema was split between punk and social struggles, carrying out several experimental and performative projects and gaining international prestige. His latest films are Holy Field Holy War (SEFF 2013), I Pay for Your Story (2017) and Blow it to Bits, which premiered in the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes.