Director, screenwriter, Music journalist.
Music journalist and author. Director of the documentary film "Beats of Freedom" - a flagship film in the Guide to the Poles series
Leszek Gnoinski, Private Archive
Gnoiński's books on music have sold over 70,000 copies. The best-known titles include: "Report on Acid Drinkers" (1996), the bestseller "Kazik's Cult”" (2000), and "Myslovitz. Life is Surfing" (2009).
Together with Jan Skaradziński he contributed to "The Encyclopedia of Polish Rock", which is currently in its fourth edition (the first edition was released in 1996; a fifth edition is planned for 2010).
With director Wojtek Słota he produced a six-episode TV series entitled "The History of Polish Rock" (2008) for the Discovery channel as well as a full-length film: "Beats of Freedom" (2010). He has written for daily newspapers such as Dziennik and Super Express (his mid-90s rock column was the largest rock column in print at the time), and for music magazines Machina, Tylko Rock, Muza (for which he was also deputy editor in chief), www.cgm.pl (for which he was editor in chief) and"Dziennik Polski.
He has conducted hundreds of interviews with many prominent Polish musicians, from the rock scene and beyond. He has also produced CD anthologies of Polish rock music from the '80s. He used to run his own radio programme for Warsaw's Radio 94 and the Krakow-based Ex FM. He was on the jury of the Yach Film Festival, Jarocin Festival, and the Krakow Review of Student Bands. He is a member of the Phonographic Academy, which awards the prestigious Polish Fryderyk prize.
Interview with the director:
Leszek Gnoiński: in his own words...
In today's world of the Internet, MP3s, computer games and hundreds of television programmes, rock music has been moved into the background, becoming one of the many entertainment options up for sale. Rock doesn't fight anyone anymore, doesn't fight for anything and most song lyrics by Polish artists today are jarring in their banality - making no reference to the trials and tribulations of any generation at all. This is in contradiction to the character of rock, which from the outset has faced off with stale mainstream realities of culture, politics and society - this is how it was in the '60s, '70s and especially the '80s.
Rock never fought with the communist system and it was never even intended to. It described those tough times in simple, at times strong, words, although they never skimped on sharp metaphors. These songs broke through stereotypes, created bonds between young people, giving us the chance, even for a moment, to feel free. They showed that aside from the entertainment that was touted by the authorities, there was an underground movement with a life of its own, far from the political cynicism of the government and oppositional uprising. It had its own lexicon and its own audience. Rock was one of the most important domains that shaped who I am and it has become an important element of my life. With this film, I wanted to pay tribute to those people who influenced my world view and to remind the next generations what this music was and what - I hope - it could be for the future.
See more on "Beats of Freedom"