Projection débat « Anarchism in America »
Le documentaire relate l'histoire du mouvement anarchiste aux États-Unis, d'une part comme une tradition Américaine individualiste qui remonte au 19e siècle, et d'autre part comme une idéologie importé de l'étranger par l'immigration.
Projection organisée par le ciné club "La Lanterne Noire" du groupe Louise-Michel
The Public Theater's latest free film program, to be shown Saturdays and Sundays at 2 P.M., is an exceptionally lucid and interesting documentary. It's a successful attempt to provide a capsule history and explanation of its subject. Beginning with footage of a new-wave band that mentions anarchy in its lyrics, and proceeding to interviews in which people on the street are asked what they think anarchism means (''I would say that it's a person trying to push his views down everybody's throat''), the film - ''Anarchism in America'' -proceeds to offer a cogent definition and to dispel as many misconceptions as it can.
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.''
Mr. Bookchin, like many of the others interviewed, presents a far more serious and provocative side of the subject than the Dead Kennedys, a punk band whose members the directors also interview for an effective contrast. Asked what his group is trying to do, the lead singer says little more than ''We like people to think for themselves.'' While the more thoughtful interviewees certainly reflect the same view, they reflect it in the kind of depth that is ill-served by the glibness of anarchism's pop manifestation. While the film never aims at a particular conclusion, striving to explain rather than to polemicize, this closing footage of the Dead Kennedys cannot help but suggest how grossly anarchism is trivialized in many such current incarnations. The Program ANARCHISM IN AMERICA, directed and produced by Joel Sucher and Steven Fischler; written by Kristina Boden, Mr. Fischler, Gerald Kagan, Lora Myers, Mr. Sucher; original script by Paul Berman; camera, Mr. Sucher; edited by Miss Boden; presented by Joseph Papp in as- sociation with the FDM Foundation for the Arts. At the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street. Running time: 75 minutes. This film has no rating.
FILM: 'ANARCHISM IN AMERICA' By JANET MASLIN
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