GODSPEED, LOS POLACOS! IS PLAYING AT THE SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER
During the Cold War, Poland’s youth looked for any way to break away from the monotony of life under Communist rule. In the City of Krakow, a group of university students formed a kayaking club as a tool to explore their local rivers and avoid participation in Communist parades and rallies. After experiencing the thrill of Poland’s one and only class III rapid, club members Andrzej Pietowski, Piotr Chmielinski (who would go on to be the first person to paddle the Amazon river source to sea), and Jurek Majcherczyk set their sights on the impossible – leaving the Eastern Bloc to paddle whitewater.
Godspeed, Los Polacos! tells the story of five university students on the edge of adulthood who skillfully pull the strings of the Soviet system, and find themselves on a kayaking expedition in the Americas with a six-wheeled military truck, homemade equipment, and little to no whitewater skills. The story follows their epic two-year journey that culminates in the record-breaking first descent of the world’s deepest canyon, and finds the kayakers in Soviet cross-hairs after they leverage their newfound fame to fight for democracy in the Eastern Bloc. Director: Adam Nawrot (US 2020) 88 min.