The Boot Factory

Lech Kowalski

France, 2000, 88 min.

By opening with quite unusual framing – the main characters filmed from the neck and down without revealing their faces – the raw underground style of this film is implanted right from the beginning. It can also be interpreted symbolically: you only get close to people very slowly and never quite get inside their heads.

Lech Kowalski has found a unique microcosm in an abandoned warehouse just outside of Krakow which houses a boot factory. A very unique one. Its three owners – Lukasz, Piotr and Wojtek – are ex-cons and former drug addicts. They are punks, they live on the edge, but they have taken responsibility for their own lives and established a way to earn a living for themselves. They work 10 hours a day and turn out 80 pair of boots per week.

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