Comrade lovers, fuck freely!

Boris Buden presents a surprise film from the former Yugoslavia inspired by the work of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, which patches together documentary footage, propaganda film and narration.

With the film shot less than fifty years ago, we will revisit a world that seems light years away from today’s reality—a time in which people believed that a liberated sexuality, “free fucking,” can change the world for the better. The film circles around the life and work of Wilhelm Reich, a psychoanalyst, sexual therapist and communist who invented the notion of the “sexual revolution.” Following a method described by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum as “materials in collision”, it combines documentary, fiction, found footage, direct narration and patriotic music. Critics praised the film as “one of the most subversive masterpieces of the 1970s”, “the flagship of philosophical cinema”’, “a fabulous libertarian freak-out”, “a pioneer of postmodernism, and a mainstream avant-garde movie that merits its place in the pantheon”. It was hailed at international film festivals, winning the Luis Buñuel Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1971, where, according to The New York Times, it received a standing ovation lasting for thirteen minutes. At the same time the film was banned in the country where it was made, in former communist Yugoslavia, while in the “free capitalist world” it was massively censored of distributed only in porn cinemas.

Boris Buden is a writer and cultural critic based in Berlin. He received his PhD in cultural theory from Humboldt University in Berlin. In the 1990s he was editor of the magazine Arkzin in Zagreb. His essays and articles cover the topics of philosophy, politics, cultural and art criticism. He has participated in various conferences and art projects in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and USA, including Documenta XI. Among his recent books is Zone des Übergangs: Vom Ende des Postkommunismus (Zone of Transition: On the End of Post-communism), Suhrkamp 2009. Buden currently teaches cultural theory at the Faculty of Art and Design, Bauhaus-University Weimar. He lives and works in Berlin.