About this project
Austrian born Wilhelm Reich, M.D. (1897-1957) was a brilliant psychoanalytic student of Sigmund Freud and a neuro-psychiatric student of Nobel laureate Julius Wagner-Jauregg.
Reich's wide-ranging social, medical and scientific work included promoting sexual health, standardizing and advancing therapeutic techniques, analyzing the psychology of fascism as manifested in both Nazism and Communism, conducting cellular research, investigating the origin of cancer and other diseases, developing experimental treatments for terminal cancer patients, and carrying out innovative climate research.
Tragically his books and published research journals were banned and burned by the United States government in 1956 and 1960, and Reich died in a Federal penitentiary in 1957.
How could such a thing have happened in America, the country to which Reich--an outspoken antifascist—had emigrated just four days before the outbreak of World War Two? What was in Reich's publications that so threatened people in power that they felt they must destroy them to keep people from reading them?
For decades Reich’s ideas and work have been carelessly and dishonestly misrepresented in the academic, medical and scientific communities, as well as in the media and on the Internet—including Wikipedia—by those whose knowledge of Reich is not based on accurate information.
Finally, a factually accurate, full-length documentary film about Reich has been meticulously researched and written, and a serious effort is now underway to fund this film. This documentary will not only correct the distorted narratives about Reich, but will also educate viewers about the potential benefits of Reich’s work for today's medicine and science.
Please, this film project needs your help! Your contribution to this Kickstarter fundraising campaign will help ensure that Reich’s pioneering insights into psychological and physical heath, and the health of the planet, will be presented factually and compellingly to a wide variety of audiences.
- Project creators establish a financial goal and a specific time-frame to reach that goal.
- If the financial goal is reached within that time-frame, the creators collect all donor pledges minus 5% which is Kickstarter’s fee.
- All donations exceeding the financial goal go to the project creators to add to their project budget (which would be terrific for this film!).
- But if the financial goal is not reached within that time-frame, no money is collected and the project receives nothing.
OUR FINANCIAL GOAL: $168,500 FOR PHASE ONE
$168,500 is our financial goal for "Phase 1: Pre-production and Production" of this 100-110 minute documentary. 5% of that for Kickstarter is $8,425, which leaves us $160,075 for pre-production, production, and to fulfill rewards for donors.
We're actually hoping to achieve an amount closer to $200,000 which would provide a substantial financial comfort level for this phase of the project. And at a later date we’ll seek another $168,500 for "Phase 2: Post-Production" which will allow us to complete the film.
The research and written storyline for this documentary are complete, a process that took nearly four years of “connecting the dots” from over 7000 pages of Reich’s publications, thousands of unpublished pages in Reich’s archives, all U.S. government files on Reich (many obtained through Freedom of Information requests), and numerous other historic primary resources.
We are now fully prepared to turn this factually accurate storyline into a feature-length documentary film:
- Hiring researchers in the United States and Europe to locate relevant photographs, newsreels, newspaper/magazine articles, etc.
- Selecting, scanning and filming material from Reich’s archives at the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School: photographs and key pages from diaries, laboratory notebooks, correspondence, unpublished manuscripts, legal documents, etc.
Selecting and scanning key pages from State Department, FBI, FDA, and Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) files.
Selecting and digitizing excerpts of Reich’s personal and scientific films.
Selecting/audio enhancing/digitizing excerpts from Reich’s voice recordings.
Translating key newspaper articles, letters, laboratory notebook pages, etc.
Location Filming & On-camera Interviews (United States & Europe):
- Securing insurance coverage for interviews and location filming.
Filming locations include:
- Rangeley, Maine: Orgonon (Reich’s laboratory and research center, now the Wilhelm Reich Museum) and other locations in the Rangeley Lakes region.
- Graham Lake & Hancock, Maine: sites of Reich’s weather experiments to alleviate drought.
Portland, Maine: U.S. Federal Courthouse, site of Reich’s 1956 trial.
- New York City: New School for Social Research in Manhattan where Reich taught for 3 semesters (1940-41) and Forest Hills in Queens where Reich lived from 1939 to 1950.
- Tucson, Arizona: Magee Road, Oracle Junction, and Catalina Mountain where Reich carried out weather experiments to alleviate drought. (1954-55).
- Europe: select locations in Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen, Malmö, and Oslo relevant to Reich’s life and work.
- Interview locations will vary. To reduce travel costs of film crews, some interview subjects will be brought to the Wilhelm Reich Museum for filming.
Hiring transcribers to prepare transcriptions of all on-camera interviews.
Assembling a “Sample Reel” to Seek Grants:
- Once filming is complete, we will assemble a 10-15 minute sample reel of the documentary to apply for grants and private funding for the “Post-Production” phase, while also moving ahead with a second Kickstarter effort to help secure the monies needed to finish this film.
- Hiring medical illustrators and computer animators for animated sequences, based on Reich’s drawings and diagrams, that will visualize aspects of his work.
- Editing the film (the most time consuming, labor-intensive part of this project): assembling photographs, film footage (old and new), interview clips, scanned materials, animated sequences, and Reich's voice recordings into a coherent film story.
Finalizing the script for the film’s voice-over narration.
Casting a professional actor/actress or voiceover talent to record the final narration.
Creating and recording a music score.
Final color correction and final audio mix for the entire film.
COMPLETION DATE FOR THIS FILM
November 2016 is our targeted date for finishing this film and having its premiere. But there are so many variables involved—especially funding and production and post-production scheduling—that we cannot promise the film’s completion by this date.
Reich’s social, medical and scientific innovations spanned four decades and two continents: Vienna (1919-30), Berlin (1930-33), Copenhagen (1933-34), Malmö (1934), Oslo (1934-39), New York City (1939-50), Rangeley, Maine (1940-57), Tucson, Arizona (1954-55).
And whether you’re already familiar with Reich or learning about him for the first time, there is undoubtedly something about his life and work and the issues he confronted that might resonate for you:
- Revolutionizes psychoanalytic techniques (1920s).
- Opens clinics which provide access to birth control (1920s-30s).
Publishes The Mass Psychology of Fascism after fleeing from Nazi Germany (1933).
Develops the first psychosomatic therapeutic techniques (1930s-40s).
Conducts laboratory research on the development of cancer cells (1930s-50s).
- Discovers a biological radiation in specific micro-organisms that can kill bacteria and cancer cells (1939).
Discovers this same radiation in the atmosphere (1940).
- Conducts experimental treatment of patients with terminal cancer, early cancer and other diseases (1941-50s).
- Fights the investigative abuses of the State Department, the FBI, the FDA, and the Immigration & Naturalization Service (1940-57).
Struggles against the collusion of the FDA and the medical profession (1947-50s).
Warns of pharmaceutical influence on the medical profession (1950s).
- Conducts weather experiments in Maine and Arizona to alleviate drought conditions (1953-56).
- Confronts censorship and First Amendment issues when a Federal court seeks to ban his publications from interstate commerce (1954).
Challenges the right of a court of law to judge scientific research (1954).
- Witnesses the FDA’s burning of his publications at his laboratory in Rangeley, Maine (1956).
A FINAL NOTE IF YOU WISH TO SUPPORT THIS PROJECT
If you wish to donate with the generosity of foregoing any reward so that your contribution goes entirely for the production of the film, that's always an option for which we would be deeply appreciative.
Risks and challenges
Our greatest challenge will be gaining funding for Phase 2 of this project, an endeavor that focuses on post-production of the film--i.e., hiring medical illustrators and computer animators for animated sequences, editing the film, finalizing the script for the film’s voice-over narration, casting a professional actor/actress or voiceover talent to record the final narration, creating and recording a music score, and final color correction and final audio mix for the entire film. We hope to raise these funds via a follow-up Kickstarter campaign.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter