Broken Meat

Director: Pola Rapaport

Institute History

  • 1991 Sundance Film Festival


Fifty-two-year-old Alan Granville is a nihilist poet who has been compared to Burroughs and Bukowski for his direct, iconoclastic treatment of sensitive social, political and philosophical issues. Broken Meat, a title taken from one of Granville's collections of poetry, is Pola Rapaport's personal journey into the consciousness of this man and the environment that is so much a part of him and his work: the seamy edges of New York.

A highly ambitious work, expertly and evocatively executed, Broken Meat is steadfast in its intent to graciously represent its subject with dignity. Granville places considerable faith in Rapaport, a faith which she never betrays. Footage of Granville's nude body has a spiritual quality. A survivor of poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, and schizophrenia, Granville has filled his poetry with powerful images of confinement and freedom. Recited against the rich textures of Wolfgang Held's atmospheric black-and-white photography, the poetry combines with the images to evoke the New York of the fifties, where Granville would have been immediately appreciated.

Broken Meat is a difficult work, there is no doubt, but there is nothing artificial about it. The film emerges as a salient investigation that impacts us on emotional, intellectual and philosophical levels.

— Alberto Garcia

Screening Details

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