A dense film that cuts up footage of a primary plot of two young Yugoslavian girls, one a politico and the other a sexpot, and an affair with a visiting Russian skater. Mixing metaphors of ... See full summary »
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Vittorio De Sica
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A dense film that cuts up footage of a primary plot of two young Yugoslavian girls, one a politico and the other a sexpot, and an affair with a visiting Russian skater. Mixing metaphors of Russia's relationship with Yugoslavia, intercut with footage and interviews with Wilhelm Reich and Al Goldstein of Screw magazine. The film applies Reich's theories of Orgone energy and analogies of Stalinism as a form of Freudian sexual repression. Also known as W.R. The Mysteries of the Organism in English subtitled version. Was banned in Yugoslavia shortly after it was made. Written by
Malcolm Humes <email@example.com>
I have been trying to see this for many years, particularly after I discovered Reich in my reading in the early 80's, read some of his writings as well as a great biography "Fury on Earth". Now our library has it on a new video release, and I have to say it was worth the wait. It is a masterpiece of documentary insight into its subject Wilhelm Reich, of subversive cinema in that it has a great power to undermine the beliefs of the viewers/participators, and of classical comedy and drama as embodied (literally) in the "fictional movie" within the documentary. Occasionally punctuated by the wild and crazy NY poet/musician Tuli Kupferberg roaming the streets of Manhattan in full battle array and carrying an M-16 (I don't think they could get away with that these days, unless they had a Mr. De Niro in the cast.) Yes, it is blatant hippie/yippie revolutionary zeitgeist of 1968-1971, which was very much fueled by the father of the sexual revolution, Dr. Reich, who had died in 1957 in jail for not answering a subpoena to defend his claims of cancer cures. He said he would be judged by scientists but not by lawyers. Inasmuch as he was the only individual to have his books burned by both Hitler and the US government (FDA), his story and his philosophy should be more widely known, but of course he is still suppressed by some of the powers that be. The erotic content of "WR" is tame in the face of today's hardcore but all the more effective for it, in that Reich condemned pornography but glorified healthy sexuality above all else. And for those "doves" that still populate the earth by the millions or billions, the words and deeds of the good Dr. Reich, who was exiled by Hitler and then Stalin (who is shown in this documentary in some amazing pseudo-heroic films he had made of himself,) still resonate. As do the words of Tuli Kupferberg and his band The Fugs, on the soundtrack: "Kill, kill, kill for peace...Near or far or very middle East..."
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