Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Paul Bowles: The Cage Door is Always Open

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The fact that Paul Bowles is less well known than fellow writers like William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg or Jack Kerouac may be because, after pursuing a nomadic lifestyle at the beginning of the 1950s, publicity-shy Bowles decided to settle in Tangiers. There, far away from the hurly-burly of the literary world, the town became a permanent home for this homosexual writer and composer and Jane, his lesbian wife. Bowles' austere, almost Calvinistic view of humankind and the psyche, as well as his outright refusal to subscribe to the zeitgeist, distinguished him from other Beat Generation writers throughout his life.
Based on moving interviews given by Bowles shortly before his death, Daniel Young's documentary takes a look at the life and work of this fascinating and complex personality; his rather eccentric but nonetheless deeply loyal marriage; and, naturally, the mythically glamorous Tangiers. Combined with anecdotes and comments from some of Bowles' fellow travellers and other contemporaries, including the brilliant Gore Vidal, the film delivers a multifaceted portrait of this radical visionary's life.

Switzerland 2012, 87 min


Daniel Young


Paul Bowles
Gore Vidal
John Waters
Bernardo Bertolucci
Ira Cohen