Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism (1971)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

WR - Mysteries of the Organism (1971, Yugoslavia/W.Germ.) (aka W.R. - Misterije Organizma)

Yugoslavian director Dušan Makavejev's controversial, X-rated, montage-filled, avante-garde work was a documentary-fiction film (dubbed a "sex film" in the countercultural era of the early 1970s). The obscene and subversive film engendered intense criticism and censorship demands, and was banned in the director's own native Yugoslavia.

It was reportedly one of the first films to depict full frontal nudity amidst its plentiful nude sex scenes and frank dialogue about free love, masturbation, genitals and orgasm. The unconventional film drew parallels between sexual liberation, political revolution and US bourgeois militarism, and repressive Soviet-style Communist totalitarian politics.

During the title credits of the slapstick, interlocking film (composed of collages), some of the film's main characters passed a slippery, fragile uncooked egg yolk from one hand to another before it broke. A sepia-toned kaleidoscopic shot witnessed a nude couple on a blanket in an open field engaged in oral sex (with a view of his erect penis) before intercourse. A female narrated:

The bioelectric charge and discharge produced by the genital embrace causes the orgasmic reflex - supremely pleasurable muscular contractions. Subjection to social disciplines may cause gastric ulcers, respiratory, coronary and vascular diseases. Comrade lovers! For your health's sake, F--k freely! The Communist movement fights for the liberation of man's natural impulses and joy of living. Four thousand liberating orgasms in every woman's and man's life are four thousand explosions of liberated life energy. Only by liberating both love and labor can we create a self-regulating worker's society.

Body tissue deprived of life energy turns cancerous. Cancer is the hysteria of cells condemned to death. Cancer and fascism are closely related. Fascism is the frenzy of sexual cripples. The swastika owes its magnetism to being a symbol of two bodies locked in genital embrace. It all stems from a longing for love. Comrades, make love joyously and without fear! Let the current flow sweetly up your spine! Let your hips roll and your mouth water! Saliva is good! Embracing lovers radiate a bluish light, orgone illumination, the same sort of light the astronauts saw in outer space. Let us reactivate the natural vibrations within ourselves and society. Let the currents stream sweetly through your muscles! Feel free to tremble and cry! Let yourself enjoy your body! As revolutionaries whose revolution renounces love, we feel very uncomfortable. What's happening to the revolution?

Documentary footage was shown about the early research work of radical psychologist Wilhelm Reich (the WR in the film's title) and his sexual politics. W.R. studied the orgasmic reflex, as Sigmund Freud's first assistant, and discovered life or "orgone" energy -- "revealing the deep roots of fear of freedom, fear of truth, and fear of love in contemporary humans." A female subject in transparent bra and panties was being experimented upon by a Reichian therapist Dr. Myron Sharaf, capitalizing on her breathing techniques and rhythmic pelvic movement.

It then explored the contrasting relationship between two roommates:

  • Milena (Milena Dravić) - a beautiful, young red-haired Belgrade, Yugoslavian working class female - an assistant beautician; she was a newly-freed feminist and an enthusiastic follower of psychologist Wilhelm Reich who mostly preached defiantly about the advocacy of free love, but was also curious about sex
  • Jagoda (Jagoda Kaloper), sexually-liberated and dark-haired, who joyfully went about having sex frequently with her boyfriend Ljuba (Dragoljub Ivkov) who served in the Yugoslav People's Army; he bragged: "My ONE goes off like a gun! My TWO is a bolt from the blue! My Three is a spree! My Four likes to score! My Five takes a dive! My Six knows all the tricks! My Seven goes to heaven! My Eight never comes late!"

Milena denounced the sexual attentions of proletarian worker Radmilovic (Zoran Radmilovic), calling him a great example of "proletarian decadence."

The viewpoints of Milena and Jagoda were clearly juxtaposed. At one point, Milena emerged onto her outside 3rd floor porch and lectured to fellow communal apartment dwellers within the courtyard, while Jagoda was having sexual intercourse in their apartment. The theme of her radical speech was that there was an obvious linkage between state repression and sexual neurosis. She preached the virtues of orgasmic liberation, free love, enlightenment, and power to encourage true revolution:

Sex writers foolishly debate which are better: short thick ones or long thin ones. I say it's a false dilemma. You can't trust the media. Joy is what counts. A joyful one is best. Any child must know what's sweetest: The crotch! Our road to the future must be life-positive. Comrades! Between Socialism and physical love there can be no conflict. Socialism must not exclude human pleasure from its program. The October Revolution was ruined when it rejected Free Love....Frustrate the young sexually and they'll recklessly take to other illicit thrills: Pilfering, burglary and assorted crimes, knifings, alcoholism, political riots with flags flying, battling the police like pre-war Communists! What we need is a free youth in a crime-free world! If we are to achieve this, we must allow FREE LOVE!...

In the audience, Radmilovic cried out: "Gentlemen, in our Democracy, everyone is entitled to a doughnut. Some get the doughnut, others get the hole in the doughnut. It would seem that the main problem is the hole." Milena continued:

There's your class-structured society. Males stop being men and turn into common swine!...Idiocy is the right word for your condition. You're resigned to your social and sexual misery!...You beasts! You screw drunken whores in toilets! You're under-payed! Your wives and children have no respect for you f--kless fools! You've taught your children that sex-play will rot their spines!...

No excitement can ever equal the elemental force of the orgasm. That's why politics attract those of us whose orgasm is sub-standard, defective, disturbed or premature... Shame on you! That's your problem! Real men know how to live their lives without asking anyone's permission. Sweet oblivion is the masses' demand! Deprive them of free love, and they'll seize everything else! That led to Revolution. It led to Fascism and Doomsday. "HOW MAN BECAME A GIANT" --- "DEUTSCHLAND UBER ALLES!" The goose-stepping, mass-marching orgasm! The bloodstream orgasm of the alcoholic, or the junkie! The cerebral orgasm of dogmatists or religious mystics! The muscular orgasm of compulsive workers, athletes and artists!

Deprive youth of their right to the sweet electricity of sex and you rob them of their mental health! Children and youth are entitled to the happiness of the genital embrace! Back to our own, our true human nature! Restore to every individual the right TO LOVE! Freedom for the individual is freedom for all!"

Some of her listeners joined her in forming a dance line around the apartment's 3rd floor terrace - while repeating her words in song. Documentary footage intercut the sequence with a collage of interlinked images:

  • massive crowds assembled to hear Chairman Zedong Mao in Tiananmen Square
  • triumphant Soviet leaders marched on review after WWII, followed by a speech from Stalin (Mikheil Gelovani) [Note: this was an excerpted scene from director Mikheil Chiaureli's black and white Stalinist film The Vow (1946, Soviet Union)]
  • anguished mental patients submitted to force-feeding and electro-shock therapy
  • a radical "scream" therapy session, and others doing Reichian pelvic and breathing therapies

Milena pursued visiting, repressed and prudish, sexually-dysfunctional, old-fashioned blonde Bolshoi/Russian (black-wigged) iceskater Vladimir Ilyich (Ivica Vidović) - the Soviet leader Lenin's full name. When he came to her apartment, her roommate Jagoda flaunted her nudity to attract attention, and thrust her left nipple and breast in his face when Milena offered cookies and a drink: "And how about some milk?"

The unfortunate Milena's seductive quest for sexual freedom, fulfillment, love and the ultimate perfect orgasm with Ilyich ended after a passionate kiss. She was violently beheaded by the sharp blade of the Soviet skater's iceskate (off-screen) - he couldn't control the liberating force of his own repressed orgasm.

Milena Decapitated After Orgasmic Kissing/Sex

Afterwards, her decapitated, disembodied head was placed on a white lab tray. The lab worker and coroner discussed that her death was probably the result of "a wild night of love" because there were no signs of a gang-bang or rape, and that she had accepted semen willingly. Miraculously, she began talking about the cosmic joys of their orgasm, and her continued love for Vladimir:

Cosmic rays streamed through our coupled bodies. We pulsated to the vibrations of the universe. But he couldn't bear it. He had to go one step further. Vladimir is a man of noble impetuousness, a man of high ambition, of immense energy. He's romantic, ascetic, a genuine Red Fascist! Comrades! Even now I'm not ashamed of my Communist past!

The film ended with Vladimir wandering around with bloody hands and singing, while Milena's smiling face dissolved into Wilhelm Reich's face.


The other portions of the film, almost like a mockumentary, followed a group of libertines in New York City, filmed in docu-style 16 mm. The inter-cutting segments included the following:

  • Tuli Kupferberg, a guerrilla-street theatre performer and The Fugs musician stalked bystanders while dressed as a US soldier near Manhattan's Lincoln Center - to the tune of the song "Kill for Peace"; he advocated: "The more students we get rid of, the more peaceful everything will be"; on a highway bridge overpass, he also stroked his toy, phallic-shaped M-16 machine-gun and worked himself into a frenzy
  • Betty Dodson (as Herself), a lesbian-feminist artist and sex educator, painted friends while they masturbated - and discussed how she taught women to touch their own vaginas in preparation for successful love-making; during her segments, both a masturbating man and then a women were seen behind her in a large background drawing
  • Jackie Curtis (as Herself), a transvestite Andy Warhol diva-drag queen who had a sex change, suggestively licked a vanilla ice cream cone as she walked on the streets of NYC; later, she talked about her first attempts at making love to a man ("I felt very feminine because he was very masculine...He went down on me and I came immediately...and to him, it was so fantastic that he wanted my phone number...")
Penis Plaster-Casting
  • Nancy Godfrey (as Herself) sculpted a plaster-cast replica of 'underground' Screw Magazine editor Jim Buckley's (as Himself) erect penis after his male member was stimulated; it was also shown that in the offices of Screw, employees could work naked

Kaleidoscopic View of Sexual Intercourse

Reichian Therapy

Milena (Milena Dravic)

Jagoda (Jagoda Kaloper) with Ljuba

Milena's Radical Speech


Vladimir Illych

Jagoda with Vladmir Ilyich

Final Scene

Intercutting Segments (below)

Tuli Kupferberg

Betty Dodson

Jackie Curtis


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