alr

W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism

Screening on Film
Directed by Dusan Makavejev.
With Milena Dravic, Jagoda Kaloper, Zoran Radmilovic.
Yugoslavia/West Germany, 1971, 35mm, color, 86 min.
Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles.
Print source: HFA

X is for X-Rated in America

One of the most controversial films of its era, Makavejev’s provocative meditation on the relationship between sexual energy and political force revolves around a portrait of the iconoclastic psychologist Wilhelm Reich and his disciples, potently intercut with imagery of Soviet leader Josef Stalin (culled mainly from social-realist fiction films) and juxtaposed with the purely fictional tale of a young Yugoslavian woman’s fatal passion for a frigid Soviet skating star. Attacked by feminists, banned by bureaucrats, and beloved by art film audiences, W.R. remains a valuable summation of the formal inventiveness and anarchic social vision that emerged from the new waves of the 1960s.

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