Orlando, My Political Biography
by Paul B. Preciado
2023, France, 98 min., French with English subtitles
Orlando, My Political Biography amplifies the voice of an international group of 26 trans and non-binary individuals, aged 8 to 70, to bring out Orlando of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel “Orlando: A Biography.” Sharing personal stories, reciting passages from the novel, and reflecting on the nature of contemporary trans life the performers explore notions of identity, gender and sexuality situating them within their intertwining social, legal, or medical ideoscapes. In a wonderful celebration of queerness Preciado transmutes Woolf’s love of language into an equally joyous appreciation of cinematic form, trading his own story and the novel’s sole protagonist for a multitudinous and collective experience.
Paul B. Preciado is a remarkable philosopher, writer, and influential figure in the realm of gender and sexuality studies. Their work is distinguished by its unapologetic exploration of identity, challenging established norms and inspiring critical dialogue. Their contributions, as seen in "Orlando, My Political Biography." extend beyond the written word and into their own lived experience. The film itself premiered this year at Berlinale where it won the Teddy Award for Best Queer Film of 2023.
With an introduction by writer, filmmaker, artist, and a well-loved FILM@WORM regular Pat Janeiro.
The film is the fourth part of OS MUTANTES series at WORM. Inspired by Theresa Villaverde’s film of the same name, we use the concept of the mutant as a way to reframe growing up as a transformative process, rather than the typical "coming of age" narrative that often feels focused on individual success and self-improvement. The series includes films by Catharine Breillat, Lucrecia Martel, Gregg Araki, and many others.