Wilhelm Reich: It Can Be Done!

Submitted by esaruoho on

(Found on YouTube) A fictional dramatization of Wilhelm Reich's life, by Jon East.
The end writing reads
"In 1957, refusing to stop his research Dr. Wilhelm Reich was imprisoned in a federal penitentiary. Shortly before his parole, he was found dead in his cell. His final manuscript, "Creation", in which he promised to reveal the secret of anti-gravity, was unaccountably missing from his personal effects".

short-length dramatic motion picture by former BBC documentary filmmaker Jon East. It Can Be Done presents a fictional but sympathetic and moving account of Dr. Wilhelm Reich, his supporters and his persecutors. This high-budget film was shot on 35mm to Hollywood movie standards and successfully played at major international film festivals (Venice, Cannes etc) in 1999. Now available for the first time on DVD, the film has been newly digitally transferred and comes complete (via an interactive menu) with behind-the-scenes 'making of' footage, a biographical essay on Wilhelm Reich and cast and crew notes. The film depicts Dr. Reich and his co-workers in his laboratory in Rangeley Maine, (using the orgone accumulator, giving therapy and lecturing on infant care). Soon Federal agents invade the premises, disrupting the work and burning Reich's books. Dr. Reich watches history repeat itself, noting that, "It could be worse. The Communists and the Nazis weren't content with burning my books, they wanted me on the fire as well!" Finally Reich uses the cloudbuster to win an emotional and symbolic victory. The film starts with a spoof on the FDA's jaundiced view of "Reich the quack", made in the style of the melodramatic 1950s anti-crime films, and ends on a hopeful note, that Reich has opened the way for humanity to the stars. It will alternatively leave you laughing, and crying with sadness. Originally produced partially as a marketing 'teaser' for a feature-length movie, "It Can Be Done" has grown in popularity and interest. The film's title itself came from a sign posted to Reich's laboratory wall, as an encouragement to his associates.

Writer/Director Jon East Describes It Can Be Done as:
"A fictional interpretation of true events. The film dramatises an apocalyptic episode from the remarkable life of maverick scientist and sexual revolutionary Dr. Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957). Set in the USA in 1956 the film corrects some of the widespread misunderstandings that continue to surround this most unusual man. Although events have been conflated, it is a truthful if poetic account: not only of Reich's breadth of outlook but also of the sinister forces that connived to destroy him. Visually I wanted to achieve a 'transparent' directorial style that didn't compete with the actors' performances for the audience's attention. Rather I aimed to create an epic feel that would both subtly reflect the beauty of Reich's holistic scientific vision and the enormity of the crime visited against it."

Featuring Heathcote Williams, Frank Grimes, Trey Wilkins, Nadia Cameron and Mark Heenehan. Screenplay by Jon East and Alex Panton. Director of Photography Frank Gell. Music by Ilona Sekacz. Production Designer Bruce Hill. Film Editor Liz Green. Costume Designer Jilly Murphy. Executive Producer Jeanette Volturno. Produced by Alex Panton. Directed by Jon East.

It Can Be Done screened at Cannes, Leeds, London and Venice Film Festivals before going on to theatrical distribution in Italy. It has also screened in Los Angeles and New York. Nominated for the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. 

MERLib Note: You can Purchase this DVD from for instance OrgoneLab. Enjoy!