The Man Who Would Be Polka King

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Movie Info

The rise and fall of Grammy-nominated polka music superstar Jan Lewan.

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Critic Reviews for The Man Who Would Be Polka King

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Audience Reviews for The Man Who Would Be Polka King

  • Nov 10, 2010
    So much about this compelling documentary epitomizes the old adage 'truth is stranger than fiction,' that filmgoers will think that they are watching the zaniest Christopher Guest mockumentary just as the rug of reality is pulled out from under them. The astonishing story of a Pennsylvania Polka star convicted of a pre-Madoff Ponzi scheme seems like it was drawn from some grand dark comedy...but - save for being captivating cinema - this is no Spinal Tap. In fact, the unfolding events and characters prove completely real. Here, the facts are expertly documented by filmmakers John Mikulak and Joshua von Brown, who smartly paint a wholly honest and tragic portrait that never forsakes humorousness. In this unrated documentary, the unbelievable life and crimes of Polka star Jan Lewan are profiled. This Grammy-nominated artist served 4 years in a Delaware state penitentiary and another 2 in federal prison for an investment scheme that investigators believe totaled over $10 million. While there, he nearly died after getting stabbed by a fellow inmate. Though some may have seen a shorter cut of this doc on Court TV, the theatrical cut affords filmgoers an amazing breadth and scope that draws an undeniable sympathy for all involved-including Lewan. If life is a tragic-comedy, this doc hammers the point home, using American Legion-bound 'Polka expert' Stan Tadrowski (Greg Korin) to tie together the many fascinating interviews and participants. It is a brave but ultimately winning choice of narration. Bottom line: Oompah-rific.
    Jeff B Super Reviewer

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