Tania Libre

Dr Frank Ochberg is a New York-based psychiatrist and trauma specialist. His specialism is post-traumatic stress disorder and the Stockholm Syndrome. Cuban artist Tania Bruguera consults him after spending eight months in a Cuban prison. A dissident, she was accused of treason for a performance she was developing that was critical of the government. During her conversations with her therapist she analyses the revolutionary potential of art and how the censor intervened even before she was able to perform the piece in question. The short-term, spontaneous and transitory nature of performance art represents a means to criticise the Cuban government. Just six months after her release an undaunted Bruguera was already inviting artists from all over the world to Cuba. Lynn Hershman Leeson’s previous documentaries Strange Culture and !Women Art Revolution – A Secret History, both of which screened in the Panorama, closely scrutinised the concept of political and critical art forms. In her new work, she has chosen to collaborate once more with Tilda Swinton who narrates Bruguera’s ‘Manifesto on Artists’ Rights’.
by Lynn Hershman Leeson
with Tania Bruguera, Frank Ochberg, Tilda Swinton
USA / Germany 2017 English, Spanish 73’ Colour Documentary form


  • Tania Bruguera
  • Frank Ochberg
  • Tilda Swinton (Narrator)


Director Lynn Hershman Leeson
Cinematography Hiro Narita, Shane King
Editing Lynn Hershman Leeson, Shane King
Music Ibeyi
Sound Dan Olmsted
Production Manager Celia Kitchell
Producer Lynn Hershman Leeson
Co-Producers Celia Kitchell, Alexandra Phelps, Michael Henrichs

World sales

George Rush

Produced by

Hotwire Productions

Lynn Hershman Leeson

Born in Cleveland, USA in 1941, this renowned artist and filmmaker was one of the first to utilise interactive media in her art. Her work, which includes over 50 films and videos, has featured in 200 international exhibitions and collections including MoMa New York and San Francisco, London’s Tate Modern and the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg. Alongside identity and feminism, she is currently focusing on technical innovations in mass communication, artificial intelligence and biotechnology. Her feature films Conceiving Ada and Teknolust (both with Tilda Swinton) screened in the Berlinale Forum.

Filmography (selection)

1995 First Person Plural: The Electronic Diaries (Erste Person Plural: Die elektronischen Tagebücher); documentary, IFB Forum 1998 Conceiving Ada (Leidenschaftliche Berechnung); IFB Forum 2002 Teknolust; IFB Forum 2007 Strange Culture; documentary, IFB Panorama 2011 !Woman Art Revolution – A Secret History; documentary, IFB Panorama 2017 Tania Libre; documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017