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For Being Alive

Dir. Tomasz Nuzban | 2014 | 69 min

A gritty, potent chronicle of punk fighting back against repression and conformity in 1980s Poland.

In 1983, as Poland was emerging from 18 months of martial law imposed by the Communist government in a bid to snuff out the Solidarity movement, a band called Sedes started playing a song called “Wszyscy pokutujemy” (“We All Suffer”). It became an anthem for the country’s scattered punks, encapsulating the frustration of young people facing a drab, gray future under a repressive, contemptuous government in a terse, shouted chorus: “We all suffer / For being alive.” Sedes didn’t come from the sprawling capital of Warsaw, or the cultural hub of Krakow, or the port of Gdansk, Solidarity's birthplace. They came from Wroclaw, an industrial city in western Poland that from the late ’70s to the late ’80s fostered a defiant music scene that set the pace for Polish punk provocation. Blending spiky and highly illustrative animations with gritty archival footage and contemporary interviews, For Being Alive recalls a tumultuous time through the sounds and stories of bands whose names may be unfamiliar outside Poland, but whose dangerous embrace of outcast status in a world of officially enforced conformity will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever thought about the true meaning of punk.

Also Appearing
Sedes
Zwloki
Klaus Mitffoch
Miki Mousoleum
Mechaniczna pomarancza
Poerocks
Country
Poland
Genres
Power of Music
Punk
Tags
1980s
Communism
Poland