Tag Archives: About Anarchists

The Anarchist Cookbook (2002)

anarchistcookbookposter

The Anarchist Cookbook
Directed and written by: Jordan Susman
Recommended? hahaha no

It’s a good thing most of the movies about us are absolute crap and no one watches them.

What if someone took everything awful about Fight Club (the machismo and misogyny, the too-easy political nihilism, the cliche masochistic bromance) and mixed it with everything awful about SLC Punk (the oversimplification of anarchism, the obvious fact that youth doesn’t last, the yay-for-selling-out ending), amplified it, and turned it into a movie?

You’d have The Anarchist Cookbook.

The Anarchist Cookbook is the worst movie about anarchists that has ever been made. Some movies misunderstand us (SLC Punk). Some movies vilify us (El Bosc). Some movies condescend to us (The East, No God, No Master). This movie intentionally warps our words and practices, alternately mocking us and reviling us.
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Slacker (1991)

Slacker

Slacker

Directed and written by: Richard Linklater

Recommended? Sure

Kevin Smith says that Slacker was the inspiration for his film Clerks. It shows. And more than that, it shows what happens time and time again in art and media: first, political radicals and engaged philosophers create new styles and genres; then, derivative work picks up the aesthetics and surface-level ephemera and leaves the core behind.
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The Anarchist’s Wife (2008)

la mujer del anarquista

The Anarchist’s Wife

Directed by: Peter Sehr, Marie Noëlle

Screenplay by: Marie Noëlle, Ray Loriga

Spanish title: La mujer del anarquista

Recommended? Yes

“Sing softly for love, sing loudly for freedom.”

Some of the best films use war and politics as backdrop to tell a story that isn’t about war. The Anarchist’s Wife is one such film.

I heard about this movie when it came out, but with a title like The Anarchist’s Wife, I wasn’t hopping up and down to go see it. Why is the film about the wife but she’s only known in relation to her husband? Why is he the anarchist and her just a wife?
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The Sunshine Crust Baking Factory

sunshine-crust-cover

by Stacy Wakefield

2014, Akashic Books

Recommended? Sure

In The Sunshine Crust Baking Factory, author Stacy Wakefield sets out to capture the spirit and energy of the squatters community in New York City in the mid-1990s by way of a novel. Over the course of the novel, readers get a good snapshot of what squatting was like, with tales of punk shows, squats, battles with the cops, evictions, and the joy of living rent free. It does an excellent job of portraying the experience of squatting and the surrounding scene.
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The East (2013)

The East

Director: Zal Batmanglij

Writers: Brit Marling, Zal Batmanglij

Recommended? Maybe

Among anarchists, my informal poll shows three responses to The East. Most people hate it. They feel it grossly, and perhaps dangerously, misrepresents us. Other people would prefer to ignore it—it’s a minor film, after all, and seems to have had no lasting effect on the broader culture, so lets just ignore it and hope it goes away. And then there’s the minority who, well, kind of love it, for all its flaws.

I’m in the latter camp.
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El Bosc (2012)

El Bosc

Director: Óscar Aibar

Writer: Albert Sánchez Piñol

Recommended? Well, we’re the bad guys in it, so… no.

Another fantasy movie set during the Spanish Civil War! I loved Pan’s Labyrinth! What can go wrong?

A lot, apparently.

El Bosc (translation from Catalan: The Forest) follows a small landowning family outside a tiny town in Spain during the war. The lead male is petit-bourgeois and a sexist ass and runs away from the fight into a portal into another world. His wife is, presumably, our protagonist, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lead character with so little agency: she just waits around while men are shitty to her. That’s basically all she does the whole movie.
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Some of My Favorite Things: Films With Anarchists and Sex Workers

Recommended? Both films, but Lady L is better.

I’m a ho and an anarchist and I feel a special connection to art portraying anarchists and sex workers. So, I started on a quest to find and watch as many films about anarchists and sex workers ad possible. My current partner being very supportive and patient; (also they might have a personal interest in the topic as well considering they’re an anarchist dating an anarchist whore) I give you my two favorites so far: Lady L and The Front Page.

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Accidental Death of an Anarchist

BBC version, 1985

Recommended: Yes.

Hi there’s this play that’s kind of like Monty Python but anarchist political satire and all the more funny therefore.

I honestly less want to review it and more want to say: here’s an embedded YouTube link. Watch it:

I want more things like this, yes please.

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No God, No Master (2013)

No God, No Master

No God, No Master

Directed and Written by: Terry Green

Recommended? No

Well, I didn’t have high hopes.

No God, No Master is a slightly-jumbled but intensely-earnest retelling of the Palmer Raids, Galleanist terror, and, tacked on, an abridged version of the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti.

Our protagonist detective is none other than William J. Flynn, who in real life was considered the US’s foremost expert on anarchists — from a repressing-us point of view — and headed the Bureau of Investigation after the events of the film.
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Something in the Air (2012)

Something_in_the_Air_poster

Directed and written by: Oliver Assayas

Recommended? Yes

Content Warning: Drug use, police brutality.

Something in the Air is a French film that follows about a six-month period in the lives of several radical high school students. The film—which was originally titled Après Mai in French (“After May”)—is set in 1971 and is primarily concerned with how the students negotiate the decline of the political movement following the May 1968 events. In viewing it, you get the sense that it isn’t just about the characters in the film, but rather is a broader commentary on May 1968, its aftereffects, and even the decline of revolutionary movements more generally. For me, it was worth watching on that level alone and the plot seemed somewhat incidental, although it definitely helps that the story is interesting and is far from being just a political essay converted to film.

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