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OFF CINEMA 2023: Orladno - my political biography | Doc Limits

Someone asked me, ‘Why don't you write your autobiography?’ I replied, ‘Because that damn Virginia Woolf already wrote my biography in 1928.’ With these words, Paul B. Preciado begins his film. But anyone expecting a manifesto bursting with anger from the author of Testo Junkie and An Apartment on Uranus may be surprised. Here, there is more curiosity and playfulness reminiscent of Agnès Varda's later films than revolutionary fervor. Orlando... is a cinematic essay, but also, for lack of a better term, a cinematic book club. Preciado, alongside a group of his heroes, trans and non-binary individuals, reads the cult (perhaps the best word in this context) novel by Virginia Woolf. Their reading is sensitive to class and colonial contexts on one hand, and on the other, it's a theatrical game, dressing up in "period costumes" and a pastiche of painting traces. Interweaving their collective reading of the novel with autobiographical elements, Preciado and his heroes blur the boundaries between literary fiction and personal confession, while challenging the discursive norms that demand continuous self-translation from trans and non-binary individuals through coherent and impossible-to-fulfill autobiographical narratives.

ORLANDO, MY POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY, dir. Paul B. Preciado, France 2023, 98’

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