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.
177 min · Colour
Terence Hill (Zohommm)Lidija Juraçik (Shuick)Isaak Twen Obu (Grrr)Nolika Pereda (P.P. (Primer Piano))Pietro Santalamazza (Toute-la-mémoire-du-monde)Francesco Di Giacomo (Ave phoenix)
Born in Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, Argentina in 1925, a descendant of Italian emigrants. He graduated in Film Direction in Rome. In 1956, Birri returned to Argentina and founded Latin America’s first film school, the Instituto de Cinematografía de la Universidad del Litoral, in the city of his birth. Ever since his debut Tire Dié, this director, who is also a poet, painter and teacher, has been a key figure in Latin American cinema.Filmography (selection)
1951 Selinunte · Alfabeto Notturno (Night School in Toretta) 1953 Immagini popolari siciliane sacre e profane; co-directed by Mario Verdone 1959 La verdadera historia de la primera fundacion de Buenos Aires 1960 Tire dié · Buenos días, Buenos Aires 1961 Los inundados (Flooded Out) 1963 La pampa gringa 1967 Castagnino, diario romano 1979 ORG 1983 Rafael Alberti, un retrato de poeta 1984 Remitente: Nicaragua / Carta al mundo 1985 Mi hijo el Chè 1988 Un señor muy viejo con alas enormes 1997 Che: Muerte de la utopía? 1999 El siglo del viento 2006 ZA 05. Lo viejo y lo nuevo 2007 Elegia Friulana 2011 El Fausto Criollo