The body in riot in the manifesto of the 64th Festival dei Popoli
The rebellious and political body of an indocile and disobedient woman is the protagonist of the poster for the 64th Festival dei Popoli, the international documentary film festival, in Florence from 4 to 12 November.
The image on the poster is taken from WR - I misteri dell'organismo, Dusan Makavejev's 1971 film that will be screened on 4 November at La Compagnia cinema and will open the Diamonds are Forever section, a selection of documentaries from the festival's historical archive.
The film - banned at the time in the former Yugoslavia and hailed at international festivals - is a hilarious political comedy, an outrageous and exuberant work that invokes the utopia of a new breed of international revolutionaries, generated by the intersection of the radical ideologies of Eastern Europe, the American counterculture and the political-sexual radicalism of the early Wilhelm Reich. The work contains four films in one: a documentary on the United States in the early 1970s; a didactic film on Wilhelm Reich; a feature film on a Yugoslavian Marxist calling for free love in the spirit of communism; and an essay on the relationship between eros and revolution.
The selection of Diamonds Are Forever, more eclectic and radical than ever, proposes this year a path of flamboyant rediscoveries, from the 1950s to the present day, in response to a theme to be mapped in all its possible declinations. The titles chosen are 14 and deal in particular with the relationship between the sexed body and power, as in the aforementioned opening film and in the closing one, Orlando - My Political Biography by Paul B. Preciado, one of the most punctual observers of gender politics. The other titles on the programme are Flaming Creatures by Jack Smith (1963); Blonde Cobra by Ken Jacobs (1963); Take Off by Gunvor Nelson (1972), Focii by Jeanette Iljon (1974), Double Labyrinthe by Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki (1975-76), A Phrenological Self-portrait by Marianne Heske (1976), Doppelganger by Elaine Shemilt (1979), Syntagma by Valie Export (1983), Popsicles by Gloria Camiruaga (1984-86), Kamikaze Hearts by Juliet Bashore (1986), Filmarilyn by Paolo Gioli (1992) and SOS Extraterrestria by Mara Mattuschka (1993).
"We are living in a historical moment that tends towards the normalisation of bodies and their relations," declared the artistic director of the Festival dei Popoli Alessandro Stellino, "but the documentary, in its most avant-garde and research forms, particularly through filmed performance, has for decades presented us with a free and uncomfortable counter-system, capable of claiming the drive for change that everybody, in its singularity, claims. The entire programme of this year's festival is traversed by works that radically and courageously question the profound meaning of the self, bringing otherness to the centre of discourse open to confrontation and the overturning of conventions".
The 64th edition of the Festival dei Popoli is realised with the contribution of Europa Creativa Media, MiC - Direzione Generale Cinema, Regione Toscana, Comune di Firenze, Fondazione Sistema Toscana, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Fondazione CR Firenze e Publiacqua.
The Festival dei Popoli is part of the '50 Days of Cinema in Florence' festival. The "50 Days of Cinema in Florence" is part of the Triennale Cinema Project, supported by the Ministero del Turismo, by local institutions and realised thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding between Comune di Firenze, Regione Toscana e Fondazione Sistema Toscana, Fondazione CR Firenze, Camera di Commercio di Firenze.