Scene from the film Desert Coffee
Scene from the film Desert Coffee
Scene from the film Desert Coffee
Scene from the film Desert Coffee
Scene from the film Desert Coffee

Desert Coffee

  • Poland
  • United States
Audio Tracks 

In California’s poorest desert region, a colourful group of regulars and their dogs gather at Rob’s cafe for coffee in ‘the last free place in America’.

Slab City is a squatter community in the Sonoran Desert, Southern California. The inhabitants, Slabbers, live in broken trailers or old school buses. Their closest neighbors are the United States Navy and Marine Corps, who practice aerial bombing in the area. Despite living off-grid in extreme weather conditions with no running water, electricity, sewage system or trash pickup, the residents enthusiastically embrace their freedom in the beautiful badlands of the desert.

Rob hates coffee but as soon as dawn breaks he meticulously brews ‘the best coffee in the county’ for the customers of his makeshift cafe. Desert Coffee sketches an intimate, warm portrait of Rob and his friends – an unforgettable bunch of troubled characters and left-behinds.


  • Original Title
    Desert Coffee
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Mikael Lypinski
  • Cinematography
    Mikael Lypinski
  • Editing
    Jakub Pietrzak
  • Music
    Mikolaj Holówko
  • Sound
    Filip Marcinkowski
  • Runtime
    53 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Poland
    • United States
  • Format
    • Colour
  • Distribution
  • Awards
    • Winner - Grand Prix - Man in Danger FF, Poland
    • Winner - Jury Special Mention - DocsMX, Mexico
    • Winner - Best Documentary & Editing - Oniros Film Awards, Italy
    • Winner - Gold Award - Spotlight Documentary Awards, USA is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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