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I 1967–1978, 177 min

Fernando Birri‘s ORG is a monstrous, three-hour long film that has only been screened extremely rarely since it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 1979.


The story of ORG is based on an ancient Indian legend, which 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 (Terence Hill). Viewing the film today provides a kaleidoscopic insight into the experimental, aesthetic and political trends of the 1970s.

Birri bequeathed Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V. a 35-mm print of his film in 1991. It was digitised as part of the "Living Archive" project.

Texte zum Film

Fernando Birri
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 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 senor muy viejo con alas enormes · Diario de Macondo 
1997 Chè: Muerte de la utopía? 
1999 El siglo del viento 
2006 ZA 05. Lo viejo y lo nuevo 
2007 Elegia Fruiliana 
2011 El Fausto Criollo

Press reviews

"A compendium of experimental, aesthetic and political currents of the '70s." (arsenal-berlin. en)

Awards and Festivals

Internationalen Filmfestspiele Venedig 1979 - World premiere

Additional Texts

"The fabric inspired me. I adapted and transformed him like an alchemist to arrive at the present result. Of course it is not said that the alchemist turns everything into gold. But the most important thing is that he transforms himself in some way while he searches for this gold, which he might not even find. And I confess that 11 years of working on Org has transformed me. I could give some figures on this work: The film has over 26,000 interfaces, 600-700 sound tracks, multiple exposure images ... 
I tried everything that was said to be impossible to realize in a film without worrying about the result, but about how to proceed." (Fernando Birri)


Screenplay and Director
Fernando Birri
Terence Hill, Lidija Juraçik, Isaac Twen Obu, Nolika Pereda, Pietro Santalamazza, Francesco Di Giacomo
Director of Photography
Mario Masini, Ugo Piccone, Mario Vulpiani, Houston Simmons, Cesare Ferzi
Fernando Birri, Paolo Zamattio, Giuliano Nucci, Settimio Presutto
Sergio Pagoni, Enrico Rava
Costume Design
Nato Frasca, Dafne Ciriacchi, Giacomo Carlo Carducci, Sandro La Ferla
Eugenio Rondani, Houston Simmons
Sound Design
Fernando Birri
Visual Effects
Fernando Birri, Settimio Presutto
Terence Hill
World Premiere
Venice Film Festival 1979


ORG, A VIDEO ESSAY (2013, 24 min, German only), Booklet (68 pages, German and English), Q&A with Settimio Presutto (audio recording, Spanish and German), Notebook of ORG (PDF Italian)
English, German
177 min + 24 min Extras
Country code
Aspect ratio
Sound Format
Dolby Digital 2.0
PAL, Colour
Release Date
Info-Programm gemäß §14 JuSchG