Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

Cowboys & Communists 2007

Directed by Jess Feast

Local doco-maker Jess Feast tells the fascinating, vibrant story of über-cool Berlin burlesque bar White Trash Fast Food and the diehard communist neighbour who tried to shut it down.

New Zealand In English and German with English subtitles
64 minutes DigiBeta

Director

Producers

Jess Feast
,
Dave Gibson

Photography

Bernadette Paassen

Editors

Paul Sutorius
,
Lala Rolls
,
Jess Feast

Sound

Nic Nagel

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. — Bianca Zander