Musicotherapy. Extraordinary biographies of musicians in the DocFilmMusic competition at the 60th Krakow Film Festival

    A talented musician with a jail sentence, a bard from a German mine, an eccentric artist from Israel – those are just a few heroes of this year’s music documentary competition DocFilmMusic which focuses on artists from various places in the world, often very far away.

    Music calms the soul. What else do we need in bad times? Music has charms to soothe the savage breast. Isn’t that the medicine we’re missing the most? Music makes miracles. May it bring us faith that tomorrow will be better. Through the rises and falls of the heroes of the music competition we can spot our own dramas and struggles with the fate which today is severely trying us – Krzysztof Gierat sums up this year’s competition.

    “The Changin’ Times of Ike White” takes us to a Californian prison where the musician – sentenced for manslaughter – recorded his first album which in the ‘70s was supposed to pave the way for his freedom and music career. However, after getting out of prison, events took a strange turn – Ike White disappeared. Thirty years later film director Daniel Vernon follows his story to find out what made the musician choose to do so and what has he been doing for all these years.

    “White Riot”, dir. Rubika Shah

    In another part of the world – Israel – a mysterious musician nicknamed Charlie Megira is taking the rock music scene by storm. In the film “Tomorrow’s Gone” we meet Boaz Goldberg, a journalist and friend of the artist, who 20 years ago started documenting Megira’s fascinating life: the ever changing stage persona, his attempts to have a break through in America, all the demons that kept tormenting him and how he tried to fight them with music.  

    “Coal-Country Song. Gundermann” takes us on a journey under the ground to a mine in East Germany where our another hero used to work. During a day Gerhard “Gundi” Gundermann was a digger operator in a lignite coal mine, whereas after work he was turning into a singer-songwriter. He wrote both melancholic ballads and rock songs. Gundermann was a rebel and a nonconformist but also an informant for the Stasi. Grit Lemke’s documentary justly presents all his personas digging up unknown archives and conversations.


    The 60th Krakow Film Festival will take place on May 31 – June 7, 2020

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