In Heaven There Is No Beer?

Director: Les Blank
Screenwriters: Les Blank

Institute History

  • 1985 Sundance Film Festival


Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the polka and much more! In Heaven There Is No Beer? is a warm and funny documentary about the polka and the people who love it, a playful and uncondescending musical treat meant for dancing feet. Polka dancing is a form of bouncy communal fun that is pretty much ignored by the so-called mass media, but that doesn’t keep a lot of people from enjoying it mightily. As one of the polka enthusiasts points out, “it doesn’t nave to be mass consumed to be OK.”

Les Blank, well known for his earlier film Burden of Dreams, has an ability to find American originals, to film them in comfortable settings with as much personal warmth and sincerity as authentic scholarship. As an ethnographer, with a particular interest in homespun music, Les Blank is a formidable filmmaker. Without stereotyping, he relishes his subjects individuality and shares their enthusiasm for life.

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards


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