For further information please download the film sheet (PDF).
Fernando Birri's ORG is a monstrous, nearly three-hour long film that’s only rarely been screened since it premiered at the 1979 Venice Film Festival. Ever since his debut Tire Dié, this 91-year-old director, who is also a poet, painter, teacher and film school founder, has been a key figure in Latin American cinema. For Birri, ORG was the result of his experience of exile in Italy: “The film is a nightmare with closed eyes because it counts among the most terrible moments of my life, my second exile, which lasted a very long time.” The story of ORG is based on the same ancient Indian legend that Thomas Mann also drew on for his story “The Transposed Heads”. But above all, ORG is an experiment in perception that features over 26,000 cuts and some 700 audio tracks.
ORG was partly funded by leading actor Mario Girotti, better known as Terence Hill. Viewing the film today provides a kaleidoscopic insight into the experimental, aesthetic and political trends of the 1970s.
Birri bequeathed Arsenal a 35-mm print of his film in 1991. It was digitised as part of the “Living Archive” project. A DVD of the film is also being released to coincide with the Berlinale. (Volker Pantenburg)
Screenplay: Fernando Birri
Camera: Mario Masini, Ugo Piccone, Mario Vulpiani, Houston Simmons, Cesare Ferzi
Cast: Terence Hill, Lidija Juraçik, Isaak Twen Obu, Nolika Pereda
Running time: 177 min