Cowboys & Communists

Director: Jess Feast
Year: 2007
Country: New Zealand
Running time: 64 mins

New Zealand
Producers: Jess Feast, Dave Gibson
Photography: Bernadette Paassen
Editors: Paul Sutorius, Jess Feast, Lala Rolls
Sound: Nic Nagel
In English and German, with English subtitles
M offensive language, nudity
World Premiere


For three years at the beginning of the millennium, Berlin bar and restaurant White Trash Fast Food, owned by LA chef and “cowboy” Wally Potts, was the epicentre of hip in a city that was the coolest place on earth. White Trash was a venue for outrageous transvestite burlesque acts, fetishists and alternative musos – Mick Jagger came to sample their cheeseburgers and electro star Peaches was a regular DJ. But Potts had set up shop underneath an apartment block in former East Berlin, where residents, in particular the charming ex-journalist Horst Woitalla, preferred a quiet life of communist regulation and curfew. Their age-old story of conflict and clashing idealism is told in Wellington-based filmmaker Jess Feast’s fascinating and vibrant documentary, which explores the reality of life behind the Berlin Wall and after its collapse. While working as a waitress at White Trash for 18 months, Feast encountered an ironic new class of refugees: American artists and libertines who fled to East Berlin to escape George Dubya’s oppressive regime.

Jess Feast will be present at all screenings.

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