Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich (2012) New York Jewish Film Festival 2014

The life and trials of Wilhelm Reich who ran afoul of the US government with his search for the fundamentals of life. While the government said that he was violating various laws from the FDA they were largely unhappy with his life style and his beliefs which clashed with the teaching or orthodox psychiatry. Told in a series of flashbacks as Reich seeks to defend himself from violating injunctions set against him by the FDA.

I'm going to be honest and say I'm not sure what I think of the film. As a biography of the man it's not a bad film, however as an exploration of his thoughts and ideas I'm kind of less happy with it. For me the problem is that watching the film I'm less sure of what I knew about Reich and his work then I was going into the film.  Yes we are told about Orgone and the accumulators and other things in his work but much of it didn't seem to connect up. What are they exactly? I'm not sure- at least as far as the film is concerned which means as far as what the threat he posed to the US government.

What confuses me is that it's not really a bad film, but it's not a good film, its a film that sort of is. Its it's own unique little thing, which I suppose  is a good thing, but at the same time I don't know if you need to pay for it. You'll forgive the lack of clarity in this review but to be honest I have no idea what to say.

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