East of Paradise
A film by Lech Kowalski
East of Paradise, Lech Kowalski, France-USA, 2005, 108’, JBAES, DCP
Kowalski is one of Play-doc’s fetish directors and this is one of the most beloved films of the festival. A juju man. "Why do you want to film me now?" asks the mother. The son, Lech Kowalski, did not know what to answer. Not then, at any rate. He had to make this film in order to be able to answer that question; first to himself, then his mother. This is their story. Maria Werla was captured in Poland at the beginning of World War II and sent to a Soviet labor camp in Siberia. She survived. Lech Kowalski grew up in the United States, far from their country of origin, with that story of struggle forever present in his mind. "Protest became my culture," recalls Kowalski. And so it was: his films portrayed those on the fringe, the punk movement, the Sex Pistols, Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Thunders on tour ...
Rebellious, underground cinema. The struggle for survival and the passion for life became the trademarks of his films. This is the movie with which Kowalski ends his well-known Wild Wild East trilogy. The wild. This is the movie in which mother and son sit together to tell each other the story of their lives. A double portrait which won the Orizzonti Best Film award at the 62nd edition of the Venice Film Festival.