The films of Lech Kowalski, who was trained at the School of Visual Arts in New York and very much influenced by the cinema verité film-makers Shirley Clarke and Tom Reichman, mirrors more than three decades of counterculture. Homeless, prostitutes, junkies, rock stars and all kind of outcast and outsiders living at the margins, are portrayed in his movies: stories of human drama and struggle of those who live on the edge of society.

Considered as the American underground’s answer to Werner Herzog and winning awards at festivals such as Locarno, Venice, IDFA or Sundance, Kowalski has made emblematic films like ‘Dead On Arrival’ (a.k.a. D.O.A.) that followed the Sex Pistol’s apocalyptic tour of America reflecting an entire subculture’s breakdown, or ‘Born to Loose: The Last Rock ‘n’ Roll Movie’ about the proto-punk musician and junkie Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls).

Lech Kowalski was at Play-Doc in 2008 presenting his trilogy ‘The Fabulous Art of Surviving’ and holding a special masterclass. Play-Doc likes to keep track of its favourite film-makers and this year brings Kowalski back to present his latest film ‘The End of the World Begins With One Lie’ and his amazing online project ‘Camera War’.

‘With both ‘Camera War’ and ‘The End of the World Begins WIth One Lie’ I explore images and sounds as news events as an alternative way to look at current events and what is going on around me. Both works are very subjective. I am trying to work outside the typical cinema and TV context. At the same time I think of these projects as a diary of where I passed through and the ideas I have about the things that are going on in the world.

As much as I love cinema there is something less essential about it now than in the past. Perhaps we have entered a period where a film means less as a culture item and more as a product. We want things as consumers. And cinema is part of the consuming process. With ‘Camera War’ and ‘The End of the World Begins With One Lie’ I wanted to get away from the idea of consuming’.