Przejdź do treści

Postscriptum: Nalepa and Wilk

„It was the greatest friendship of my life” this is what Mariusz Wilczynski says with reference to Tadeusz Nalepa. „I dreamt about getting to know him. I considered him a musical genius. I was 19 when I plucked up the courage and made a long-distance call to the phone exchange in Rzeszów. The operator informed me that Tadeusz no longer lived in town, but she did put me through to his father. He asked me why I wanted to contact his son. I lied that I was a student of the Film School and I wanted to make a film about him. To me, that lie seemed my only bargaining chip. Tadeusz’s father told me to call back in a few weeks’ time; I did so and heard that, OK, his son agreed. And so I traveled to Józefów near Warsaw, where Tadeusz lived. In this way I met the greatest artist, who later became the greatest friend I ever had in my life. 

„When Wilczyński, a high school student, met his idol, Tadeusz Nalepa was already a legend, who, having gained experience with Blackout, had been performing with the blues-rock band Breakout for a decade. He composed music, played the guitar and harmonica, and also sang. Nalepa attracted throngs of fans both with his music and with his nonconformist lifestyle, which was unacceptable to the Polish authorities of the time, due to which Breakout was banned from television and unwelcome in the radio. Lyrics for many of their songs were written by the poet Bogdan Loebl e.g., the ones used in Mariusz Wilczynski’s film – Kiedy byłem małym chłopcem (When I Was a Little Boy), Nocą puka ktoś (Somebody Knocks at Night), Co się stało kwiatom (What Happened to the Flowers), and Modlitwa (Prayer). The band released 10 albums and toured, also abroad. In 1986 Nalepa was named best musician, composer, and guitarist by the „Jazz Forum” magazine. The artist also made solo records with different lineups and performed with the band Dżem. In 1991, he received an award for his score for the film Death of the Baby Maker directed by Wojciech Nowak.

In Kill It and Leave This Town we can hear Nalepa’s songs contributing to the film’s oneiric and nostalgic ambience, while fragments of conversations with the musician are used in the dialogues. The feature-length animated film premiered on 22 February 2020 at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, 13 years after the bluesman’s death. „Had it not been for Nalepa, I wouldn’t have dared to be an artist. I wouldn’t have taken that path. I would’ve been a completely different person” said Wilczyński summing up his friendship of nearly 30 years in a „Przekrój” magazine interview. 

The presented photographs are courtesy of Mariusz Wilczynski, who took most of them himself.


February 25 – July 30 2023
Temporary exhibition of the Film Museum in Łódź
Postscriptum: Nalepa and Wilk



Skip to content