Films

ANARCHISM IN AMERICA (75mins. Colour + B&W/2006)

“As directed by Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher, the film touches quite a few bases. It presents newsreel footage of key figures in the history of American anarchism, among them Sacco and Vanzetti, and Emma Goldman. (“What is your opinion of Italy?” a reporter asks her. “Beautiful country minus Mussolini,” she snaps in reply.) And there are contemporary interviews with figures including Mollie Steimer, Emma Goldman’s girlhood friend, and the poet Kenneth Rexroth, who reads his Sacco and Vanzetti poem. There is also some discussion of what the film makers take to be anarchism’s practical applications, such as food co-ops and town meetings.

Karl Hess, formerly a Newsweek writer and speechwriter for Barry Goldwater, discusses his evolution from Republican to anarchist. And the writer and teacher Murray Bookchin gives an exceptionally articulate description of his own ideological development. He explains why he finds anarchism more all-embracing than Marxism, because he believes it addresses “not just classes but hierarchy.” Anarchism can be broadly applied, he says, to forms of domination “which may not have any economic meaning at all.”

— New York Times

QUESTIONS ABOUT ANARCHISM: Noam Chomsky interviewed by Barry Pateman (48 minutes. Colour, 2017)

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes described as “the father of modern linguistics”, Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He is Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has worked since 1955, and is the author of over 100 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism.

– Wikipedia

TOGETHER WE WIN: THE FIGHT TO ORGANIZE STARBUCKS (20 mins. Colour +B&W, 2006)

A Short Documentary about the Industrial Workers of the World IU660 Starbucks Workers Union. Chronicles the Struggles and Victories in the two year campaign. Produced by Diane Krauthamer.

REVOLT OF THE TOYS aka Revolution in Toyland (15 mins. stop-motion/live action B&W/1945)

In this charming short film a subversive toymaker flees a Gestapo raid and the toys come to life and take on the Nazi. Breathtaking animation and a powerful metaphor for the betrayal of the Czech people by the liberal democracies in the 1930s.

Hermína Týrlová (1900-1993) was a founding figure in Czech animated film and is connected with Zlín’s film studios. She initially cooperated in the making of cartoon film advertisements and later significantly applied herself to stop-motion film. In her work she experimented with forms, methods and materials. She paid attention to simplicity, detail and pattern. She chose her own themes and wrote her own scripts.

REBELLION IN TOTTENHAM 2011 (27 minutes. colour)

The police murder an unarmed man, then let Tottenham burn, sparking a wave of urban insurrections, in this film by Reel News, the locals tell their side.

AN ANARCHIST’S STORY, THE LIFE OF ETHEL MACDONALD: (80 mins. Colour +B&W 2007)

At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War Ethel Macdonald was a member of the United Socialist Movement, a libertarian split from the Independent Labour Party. Accepting an invitation from the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union, Ethel and fellow Glasgow USM militant Jenny Patrick travelled to revolutionary Barcelona in October 1936. Ethel sent reports to the Bellshill Speaker and the Evening Times, as well as the revolutionary press, and broadcast to the world via the CNT’s short wave radio station.

A participant in the May events, when Barcelona’s Working Class came under attack from a coalition of Stalinists, bourgeois republicans and Catalan nationalists, Ethel was imprisoned twice, escaped, and went into hiding. When Ethel suddenly fell silent she became the focus of an international search and intergovernmental negotiations. From being a commentator on the revolution she had become actively engaged in its defence, assisting anarchist comrades to escape the Cheka, earning her the nickname ‘The Scots Scarlet Pimpernel’.

Directed by Mark Littlewood for Scottish Television, part drama, part documentary, with contemporary newsreel footage.

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