Scenes of Charles Bukowski in "You Never Had It – An Evening with Charles Bukowski." (Photo: Kino Lorber)

By Charlotte Roi

Hollywood, CA ( The Hollywood Times) 8/3/20 – “ If you’re too accepted you’re not doing a good job. I think a good creator should be at least a hundred years ahead,’’ says one of the most prolific writers of all times Charles Bukowski in a never seen before documentary You Never Had which features producer and Italian journalist Silvia Bizio during an intimate evening interviewing the writer January 1981 at his home in San Pedro, California at the peak of his literary success.


The vintage footage, an extraordinary time capsule comprised of Bizio’s old dusty tapes, was long thought lost. She rediscovered the valuable cache in her garage 20 years after Bukowski’s passing. The film also features a present-day Bizio reminiscing about her cherished life-changing encounter with the author.

Even though I’m a huge fan of Charles Bukowski myself I don’t think I’ve ever heard him speak before and now that I finally did it explains, at least to me, why he was adored and worshiped by so many women despite his short temper and loner type of personality. His voice. His voice is definitely not what you’d expect it to sound if you’ve heard stories about him or read his work. Considering his love for cigarettes and alcohol and partying in general, plus his direct, often very obnoxious language you’d expect him to sound kinda raspy but no… I was taken by surprise when I heard this very soft spoken, clear and articulate man and all of a sudden it was clear to me- his whole persona was so magnetic and irresistible, he was more than just a writer, he was a legend and everything that comes with it- he was one of those people you could listen to for hours and hours.


During that fateful evening, Charles and Silvia and, including Bukowski’s soon-to-be wife Linda Lee Beighle, smoke cigarettes and drink wine over a languorous evening that unfolds with intimate conversations probing sex, literature, childhood and humanity. The interview was shot on U-matic videotapes, which have been digitized and edited along with new Super8 footage shot in Downtown Los Angeles set against poems read aloud by Bukowski himself. A rare look at the man behind the words, the title of the film takes inspiration from the final line of Bukowski’s poem, “Those Sons of Bitches” from the collection “Mockingbird Wish Me Luck” (1972).

If you’re a fan of Bukowski’s work this is definitely something you must watch to get a little glimpse into more intimate life of the person who was known for his very graphic and honest writing and explosive personality.