Anarchism: A Documentary

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WorkersDreadnought
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Jul 18 2010 13:47
Anarchism: A Documentary

Has anyone on here been discussing this yet?

http://www.indiegogo.com/Anarchism-A-Documentary

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anarchism-A-Documentary/113880171992624

Heres the text:

"To the best of our knowledge, no comprehensive documentary about anarchism has ever been made.

Of the often very dated films on anarchist themes that are available, most either misrepresent anarchism (1981’s pro anarcho-capitalist ‘Anarchism in America’), are focused on specific moments in anarchist history (‘Living Utopia’, ‘The Angry Brigade’, ‘Lucio the Anarchist’, etc), or discuss the wider social justice / alter-globalisation movements (‘Fourth World War’).

Such an absence is unfortunate, for we think that now, more than ever, a broad, accessible documentary introduction to anarchism would be of tremendous value to those of us who wish to share the history, ideas and promise of our diverse, protean movement with a general audience.

Instead of complaining though, we’re just going to knuckle down and make it ourselves!

We envisage creating, over the next year or so, an engaging, entertaining, relatively mainstream film that will cover – via interviews with prominent anarchists mixed with archival footage, narration, person-on-the-street discussions and explanatory animations – a historical overview of anarchism, an explanation of the core principles (anti-authoritarianism, anti-capitalism, mutual aid…you know the stuff!) and an exploration of all the contrasting but ultimately complementary views held by contemporary anarchists from around the world.

We’d also like to deliver a message of realistic hope and a call for action in this time of social and ecological crisis.

Being long-time anarchists ourselves, we recognise the importance of a supportive community in ensuring our project succeeds in fairly portraying both contemporary and historical anarchism and does not fall prey to personal biases or prejudices. We will thus be communicating openly and honestly with the broad anarchist community about our progress and underlying vision.

More pressingly though, we also recognise the importance of mutual aid and so, even though we’re soliciting it through capitalist channels, we humbly request your modest donations. These will help us with our frugal travel, eating and living expenses, as well as with editing and post-production costs. Those who cannot help financially are more than welcome to offer couches for the night. Shared dinners and good company will also be essential to the completion of this ambitious task we’ve set ourselves, and if you donate some music to the soundtrack we’d be eternally grateful smile

We eagerly await your participation, your suggestions and your constructive criticisms. We promise to weigh them up fairly as long as you promise not to pepper pie us if, in some cases, we respectfully disagree.

With love and hope,
Steffi, Aragorn and friends"

Theyve been asking for suggestions of places and groups to visit and interview around the world. For England, Ive suggested Freedom bookshop, and although I havnt been to it, the Red and Black Club, and ive also mentioned Brighton as a possible place to visit cuz of all the stuff that seems to go on there.

gypsy
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Jul 18 2010 14:46

yeah weeler put a link to this film/documentary in another thread.

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JoeMaguire
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Jul 18 2010 14:54
allybaba wrote:
yeah weeler put a link to this film/documentary in another thread.

Here

WorkersDreadnought
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Jul 18 2010 16:49
allybaba wrote:
yeah weeler put a link to this film/documentary in another thread.

So unfortunately no it hasnt really been discussed properly because its in the libcommunity section. Theres just a lot of wise cracks and something about the film Eastern Promises.

If it gets any sensible discussion on this site then hopefully it will be here.

gypsy
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Jul 18 2010 16:54
WorkersDreadnought wrote:
allybaba wrote:
yeah weeler put a link to this film/documentary in another thread.

So unfortunately no it hasnt really been discussed properly because its in the libcommunity section. Theres just a lot of wise cracks and something about the film Eastern Promises.

If it gets any sensible discussion on this site then hopefully it will be here.

Yeah true. I think they have a good idea as all the previous documentaries I have seen on anarchism apart from 'la utopia' were shite.

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back2front
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Jul 18 2010 18:30

A few years back I tried to edit a variety of footage together from a number of sources with this idea in mind. The finished product was rough to say the least, with my lack of understanding and resources about film-making being quite apparent and the quality of some of the footage being absolutely atrocious; but it is certainly an overlooked area.

There is a wealth of documentarys, films and other videos from an anarchist or libertarian perspective over at Christie Books: http://www.christiebooks.com/ChristieBooksWP/?page_id=2 -inluding CNT films, footage of Makhno, recent Sacco and Vanzetti documentary, Meltzer's funeral, Miner's Strike and much more besides.

Best of luck to those engaging with the project though I think it'll take a bit more than "a year or so" to complete if you want to offer a truely international perspective.

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Jul 19 2010 03:14
Quote:
We envisage creating, over the next year or so, an engaging, entertaining, relatively mainstream film that will cover – via interviews with prominent anarchists mixed with archival footage, narration, person-on-the-street discussions and explanatory animations – a historical overview of anarchism, an explanation of the core principles (anti-authoritarianism, anti-capitalism, mutual aid…you know the stuff!) and an exploration of all the contrasting but ultimately complementary views held by contemporary anarchists from around the world.
WorkersDreadnought wrote:
allybaba wrote:
yeah weeler put a link to this film/documentary in another thread.

So unfortunately no it hasnt really been discussed properly because its in the libcommunity section. Theres just a lot of wise cracks and something about the film Eastern Promises.

If it gets any sensible discussion on this site then hopefully it will be here.

This as big tent anarchism written all over it TBF

Ariege
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Jul 19 2010 06:27
october_lost wrote:
Quote:
We envisage creating, over the next year or so, an engaging, entertaining, relatively mainstream film that will cover – via interviews with prominent anarchists mixed with archival footage, narration, person-on-the-street discussions and explanatory animations – a historical overview of anarchism, an explanation of the core principles (anti-authoritarianism, anti-capitalism, mutual aid…you know the stuff!) and an exploration of all the contrasting but ultimately complementary views held by contemporary anarchists from around the world.
WorkersDreadnought wrote:
allybaba wrote:
yeah weeler put a link to this film/documentary in another thread.

So unfortunately no it hasnt really been discussed properly because its in the libcommunity section. Theres just a lot of wise cracks and something about the film Eastern Promises.

If it gets any sensible discussion on this site then hopefully it will be here.

This as big tent anarchism written all over it TBF

What would you prefer to the big tent?

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JoeMaguire
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Jul 19 2010 08:11

Practical class politics, stuff like LCAP, autonomous workplace organising etc. Despite my huge givings about the language of the blurb I will drop them a line and see what can be made of it. My perception is improved somewhat because Zabalaza is mentioned in the FAQ.

Edit to add. I have seen the suggested contact list and its not all bad.

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Jul 19 2010 14:10

Hmm, I dunno, I don't want to be too harsh on it, but the impression I'm getting from reading it is actually quite a lot like Octover_lost's original apprehension that this will be quite a 'big tent' activisty-centred documentary..

Quote:
We wish to remain as non-partisan as possible in producing our film and would like to give an open ear to, among countless other things, anarchist communism, syndicalism, insurrection, CrimethInc and different types of green anarchism.

I would have expected more from the Zabalaza/anarkismo types as I thought the one thing that we were all down with was the shift towards a more apologetically class struggle anarchism.

Though perhaps I'm just reading too much into this. I'm not completely against the idea of a documentary like this, in fact, I think it could be pretty cool and inspiring.. but I think if too much of it ends up revolving around the non-class struggle elements around anarchism then it will ultimately be pointless. Still might be worth getting in touch with them, though..

Boris Badenov
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Jul 19 2010 14:57

My guess is this "documentary" will be mainly based on interviews with current activists, and other irrelevant politicos, and insofar as it will say anything at all useful about the history of class struggle anarchism it will be insufficient and undeveloped. This is why actual documentary filmmakers would choose a specific topic like Spain 36, Ukraine 20, Hungary 56, or whatever.
If Peter Marshall couldn't successfully write an account of "anarchism in general", I doubt anyone will be able to do this in film.

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oisleep
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Jul 19 2010 15:03

film about an anarchists

gypsy
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Jul 19 2010 15:49
mateofthebloke wrote:
If Peter Marshall couldn't successfully write an account of "anarchism in general", I doubt anyone will be able to do this in film.

Why is Peter Marshall the man or something?

Ariege
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Jul 19 2010 20:39

I quite like big tents, but of course all of the people inside them do have to be grown up enough to admit that they might not have all of the answers.... otherwise a big tent often comes to more resemble a big top.

gypsy
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Jul 19 2010 20:42
Ariege wrote:
I quite like big tents, but of course all of the people inside them do have to be grown up enough to admit that they might not have all of the answers.... otherwise a big tent often comes to more resemble a big top.

No anarchism is about class struggle and has always been a working class movement. Portraying other so called anarchists as anarchists would be a bastardisation of libertarian communism..

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Jul 19 2010 21:52
Ariege wrote:
I quite like big tents, but of course all of the people inside them do have to be grown up enough to admit that they might not have all of the answers.... otherwise a big tent often comes to more resemble a big top.

Fair enough about not having all the answers, but the problem is so-called anarchists who ask the wrong questions, a la, "Why should we oppose civilization?", "Are animals equal to humans?", "Is dumpsterdiving the revolution?", "Shouldn't we just go smash up Starbucks?", "Why boycott Wal-Mart?", "Why is veganism revolutionary?", "How do we start a co-op?" and "Eco-struggle, more important that class struggle?"...

Do I need to go on?

Boris Badenov
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Jul 20 2010 00:39
allybaba wrote:
mateofthebloke wrote:
If Peter Marshall couldn't successfully write an account of "anarchism in general", I doubt anyone will be able to do this in film.

Why is Peter Marshall the man or something?

No, but writing a book about some vague notion of anarchism as a timeless "philosophy" is obviously easier to do than making a film.

It's disingenuous to present this "big tent" approach as anti-sectarian; what it actually does is muddle the waters until anarchism means fuck all, but some hippie daydreaming that every mentalist with something to prove is welcome to. Well good luck with this project to those who are involved in it; I hope I'm wrong and it comes out amazing.

gypsy
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Jul 20 2010 06:46
mateofthebloke wrote:

It's disingenuous to present this "big tent" approach as anti-sectarian; what it actually does is muddle the waters until anarchism means fuck all, but some hippie daydreaming that every mentalist with something to prove is welcome to.

This.

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Jul 20 2010 06:59
october_lost wrote:
Edit to add. I have seen the suggested contact list and its not all bad.

Can I just reiterate this point.

I asked and was told I could not reproduce the list out of the email he sent me. Its primarily drawn from the platformist groups signed up to Anarkismo, class struggle anarcho groups, intellectuals (Graeber, Chomsky etc) and a few fluffy groups Workers Dreadnought seemed to ask to be added to the list. I also added a few other groups from the IWA and IFA on there.

Any concerns you can email Alagorn directly wink

Ariege
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Jul 20 2010 07:09

Yeah, okay, maybe there are some people who wouldn't be so easy to have in the tent. wink

A documentary that discusses anarchism though, would have to consider different strands of thinking and activity; it is only in the context of a documentary like that, that, let us say, your own class struggle position could be seen to be superior or at least radically different to other currents.

I think that one of the most interesting aspects of this debate is the existence of complicated divisions in anarchist thought and action despite the fact that most of us actually have a great deal in common philosophically. A "big tent" documentary might indeed only serve to highlight antagonism, but on the other hand there is always the chance that different sorts of anarchists might listen to one another and even learn a little mutual respect.

I have absolutely no doubt that all sorts of anarchists could learn a great deal from the analysis and erudition that can be found on Libcom and from the ideas of class struggle anarchists in general. On the other hand, the regularity with which other anarchist currents are derided here - with a sacramental zeal - suggests to me that the folks on here could maybe benefit from reconsidering the work of at least some anarchists who don't self-identify as class struggle in the same way.

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Jul 20 2010 07:19

While that sounds alright as you've described it, but there is this bit...

Quote:
We wish to remain as non-partisan as possible in producing our film and would like to give an open ear to, among countless other things, anarchist communism, syndicalism, insurrection, CrimethInc and different types of green anarchism.

The fact that any group not belonging to the first two adjectives in that list has an invite is quite worrying. Especially because the activist-type groups are often the ones who have the most access to (and experience with, to be fair) the sort of film equipment that would be used in a documentary...

gypsy
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Jul 20 2010 07:25
Ariege wrote:
On the other hand, the regularity with which other anarchist currents are derided here - with a sacramental zeal - suggests to me that the folks on here could maybe benefit from reconsidering the work of at least some anarchists who don't self-identify as class struggle in the same way.

Maybe the documentary could talk about the british anarchist- Albert Meltzer. He spent large parts of his life trying to stop anarchists who were not interested in class struggle from dominating the anarchist scene in the UK. Obviously people who don't self identify as class struggle anarchists are not all bad and they may have some decent ideas. But taking the class struggle element out of anarchism makes us liberal and not revolutionary.

Dumpster diving etc is not a revolutionary option and does not challenge capitalism. Dropping out is okay for some, but not everyone can do that. This bunch of people get criticised here because they are wrong when they preach this way of life to the world and call themselves anarchists when infact they are usually just hippy liberals.

p.s-If you wanna talk to an ex dumpster diver who has converted to class struggle ask libcoms very own choccy. grin

Jared
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Jul 25 2010 09:27

I think a really good film on class struggle anarchism and it's ideas would be an amazing tool for organisers, and for interested people. Recently we've had Zeitgeist members turing up at our events, and they always leave a free DVD, which I think a lot of people would take home and watch (if we didn't leave them at the bottom of our info box haha). It's a medium we're not utilizing that well and unfortunately others are...

action_now
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Jul 26 2010 16:54
allybaba wrote:
Ariege wrote:
On the other hand, the regularity with which other anarchist currents are derided here - with a sacramental zeal - suggests to me that the folks on here could maybe benefit from reconsidering the work of at least some anarchists who don't self-identify as class struggle in the same way.

Maybe the documentary could talk about the british anarchist- Albert Meltzer. He spent large parts of his life trying to stop anarchists who were not interested in class struggle from dominating the anarchist scene in the UK. Obviously people who don't self identify as class struggle anarchists are not all bad and they may have some decent ideas. But taking the class struggle element out of anarchism makes us liberal and not revolutionary.

Dumpster diving etc is not a revolutionary option and does not challenge capitalism. Dropping out is okay for some, but not everyone can do that. This bunch of people get criticised here because they are wrong when they preach this way of life to the world and call themselves anarchists when infact they are usually just hippy liberals.

p.s-If you wanna talk to an ex dumpster diver who has converted to class struggle ask libcoms very own choccy. grin

What utter bollocks.
Anyway, who suggested that dumpster diving was revolutionary?

gypsy
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Jul 26 2010 18:55
action_now wrote:
allybaba wrote:
Ariege wrote:
On the other hand, the regularity with which other anarchist currents are derided here - with a sacramental zeal - suggests to me that the folks on here could maybe benefit from reconsidering the work of at least some anarchists who don't self-identify as class struggle in the same way.

Maybe the documentary could talk about the british anarchist- Albert Meltzer. He spent large parts of his life trying to stop anarchists who were not interested in class struggle from dominating the anarchist scene in the UK. Obviously people who don't self identify as class struggle anarchists are not all bad and they may have some decent ideas. But taking the class struggle element out of anarchism makes us liberal and not revolutionary.

Dumpster diving etc is not a revolutionary option and does not challenge capitalism. Dropping out is okay for some, but not everyone can do that. This bunch of people get criticised here because they are wrong when they preach this way of life to the world and call themselves anarchists when infact they are usually just hippy liberals.

p.s-If you wanna talk to an ex dumpster diver who has converted to class struggle ask libcoms very own choccy. grin

What utter bollocks.
Anyway, who suggested that dumpster diving was revolutionary?

Why is it utter bollocks, care to elaborate?

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Jul 26 2010 22:42
Crimethinc wrote:
"Poverty, unemployment, homelessness - if you're not having fun, you're not doing it right!"
action_now
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Jul 27 2010 20:06

ok. Now show me where it says it's revolutionary.

action_now
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Jul 27 2010 20:08
allybaba wrote:
action_now wrote:
allybaba wrote:
Ariege wrote:
On the other hand, the regularity with which other anarchist currents are derided here - with a sacramental zeal - suggests to me that the folks on here could maybe benefit from reconsidering the work of at least some anarchists who don't self-identify as class struggle in the same way.

Maybe the documentary could talk about the british anarchist- Albert Meltzer. He spent large parts of his life trying to stop anarchists who were not interested in class struggle from dominating the anarchist scene in the UK. Obviously people who don't self identify as class struggle anarchists are not all bad and they may have some decent ideas. But taking the class struggle element out of anarchism makes us liberal and not revolutionary.

Dumpster diving etc is not a revolutionary option and does not challenge capitalism. Dropping out is okay for some, but not everyone can do that. This bunch of people get criticised here because they are wrong when they preach this way of life to the world and call themselves anarchists when infact they are usually just hippy liberals.

p.s-If you wanna talk to an ex dumpster diver who has converted to class struggle ask libcoms very own choccy. grin

What utter bollocks.
Anyway, who suggested that dumpster diving was revolutionary?

Why is it utter bollocks, care to elaborate?

The correct line shit which I'd expect to be spouted by some sort of dogmatic leftist but I suppose that's what passes for alot of social anarchists atm.

Boris Badenov
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Jul 28 2010 03:53

"dogmatic leftist"

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Jul 28 2010 10:15

If anyone wants to trawl through the absolute fucking rubbish that passes as Crimethinc propaganda, go for it. I'm not going to waste my time on such pointless endeavors. However, judging by such absurd statements as the one quoted above, you can only imagine the insane things they abstract from such a premise. And, even if I was incorrect in stating that they claim dumpster diving is revolutionary (which, btw, I'm not) and all that they think is that 'poverty, unemployment, and homelessness is fun', why in God's name would any decent class-struggle anarchist want to be associated with such lifestylist nutters in the first place?

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Jul 28 2010 12:58
Quote:
When thousands of french students recently occupied their universities and trashed their cities in opposition to the introduction of the CPE law one crimethincer had this to say about the organised students;

"When I looked at the situation in France, I often thought that they were not enough dumpster divers collectives!"