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Holy Field Holy War

Lech Kowalski

2013FrancePoland105 minColour

Everywhere in the world, small farmers are under threat. Their struggle for survival unfolds far from the cameras and media. In Poland, a country where agriculture occu­pies over 60% of the territory, new actors are competing to grab the land. 
Gathered in the community hall, the villagers are invited to attend a PowerPoint presentation by the director of Chevron Poland. Even though the vibrations of the dril­ling vehicles have already cracked house walls and dir­tied the spring water, the man, flanked by a translator and the mayor, begins his presentation by assuring them that everything is under control and there is no cause for concern. The standards are being met – the proof, as his slide shows, is that Chevron has signed a “commitment”…. The clash that follows lays bare two dynamics: that of communication versus that of politics. In the first, a body agrees to be no more than a link in a chain of discourse that has no origin, no one accountable. The representa­tion of representation of representation, a shell-body, as is said of a company: a discourse for everyone and no one, a logo-discourse (and so easy to change), radical imper­sonality. The second dynamic, always magnificent and triumphant even though it leads to defeat, is one that drives those who are initially spectators, but who then become actors. And, even more, a political body. This is what is being invented and built under our eyes, through the words that link one body to another, one existence to another, and which transform individuals formerly condemned to submission into the agents of a collective history. 

–Raphaël Nieuwjaer, Débordements.fr, 26 mars 2014 

Lech Kowalski is an American film director of Polish descent. He was born in 1951.
His most notable film is the documentary, D.O.A., subtitled A Rite of Passage, which chronicled the burgeoning UK punk scene at the tail-end of the 1970s, and included footage of the Sex Pistols' abortive 1978 American tour. He also directed Story of a Junkie, a film starring  John Spacely, and Born To Lose: The Last Rock and Roll Movie, about Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls and The Heartbreakers. He also created Hey! Is Dee Dee Home?, which focused on Ramones bassist Dee Dee Ramone and his struggle with heroin addiction.

  • PRODUCTION : Revolt Cinema