Pay a visit to the French hotel that nurtured the creativity of the Beat generation's most prolific writers in this documentary from filmmaker Alan Govenar. As Alan Ginsberg's landmark poem Howl was being put on trial for obscenity in the United States, American writers who valued creative expression began fleeing oversees. Those writers, including such luminaries as Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso, found refuge in a run down, rue Git le Coeur hotel that would soon become the epicenter of Beat culture. Presided over by the persevering Madame Rachou, the Paris boarding house dubbed the Beat Hotel would soon become home to William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, and Ian Somerville, among others. There, these maverick writers found the inspiration to challenge convention, and pen the poems, stories, and books that would set the literary world ablaze. As former tenants Jean-Jacques Lebel, George Whitman, and Cyclops Lester share their memories of life in the Beat Hotel, vintage photographs from photographer Harold Chapman and animated artwork by Elliot Rudie offer a vivid look at life in a community ungoverned by the rules of contemporary society.
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