Sydney Anarchist Film Festival
Note: the schedule below was for the 2009 Sydney Anarchist Film Festival.
For more recent film screenings, see our events calendar.
Sydney Anarchist Film Festival
Ticket prices: $8 ($5 concession) per film. Or get a 'Gold Pass' entry to all films for $30 ($25 concession).
12pm Saturday at Jura: Manufacturing Consent
This film illustrates and explores Noam Chomsky's classic analysis of how government and big media cooperate to produce an effective propaganda machine that manipulates public opinion. The key case study is the media coverage of two simultaneous events: the communist atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime of Cambodia and the US supported Indonesian invasion and subjugation of East Timor.
12pm Saturday at Black Rose: Living Utopia
The memory of the Spanish revolution and the historical background of the Spanish liberation movement. The reality of the anarchist utopia lived in Spain, which radically transformed the structures of society in broad areas of the Republican group during the Civil War of 1936-39.
3pm Saturday at Jura: Angry Brigade Documentary
Originally produced in 1973, this excellent BBC documentary has just been re-released by the US anarchist publisher PM Press, with new footage. Between 1970 and 1972 the Angry Brigade used guns and bombs in a series of symbolic attacks against property. A series of communiqués accompanied the actions, explaining the choice of targets and the Angry Brigade philosophy: autonomous organization and attacks on property alongside other forms of militant working class action. Targets included the embassies of repressive regimes, police stations and army barracks, boutiques and factories, government departments and the homes of Cabinet ministers, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. These attacks on the homes of senior political figures increased the pressure for results and brought an avalanche of police raids. From the start the police were faced with the difficulty of getting to grips with a section of society they found totally alien. And were they facing an organization - or an idea?
This documentary, produced by Gordon Carr for the BBC (and first shown in January 1973, shortly after the trial), covers the roots of the Angry Brigade in the revolutionary ferment of the 1960s, and follows their campaign and the police investigation to its culmination in the “Stoke Newington 8” conspiracy trial at the Old Bailey—the longest criminal trial in British legal history.
3pm Saturday at Black Rose: Viva Zapata
This 1952 classic tells the story of Emiliano Zapata is an indigenous person of Mexico whose tribal land is stolen under the corrupt administration of Porfirio Díaz. Seeking justice, he and his fellow villagers join the revolutionaries under Madero. Zapata rises to the rank of General in the rebel army, but when Díaz flees the country the traditional owners seem to have no more success reclaiming their land with Madero in charge. Madero means well but his military backers are only interested in power, not justice. When Madero is gunned down by Huerta’s troops, Zapata then joins an uneasy alliance with Pancho Villa.
6pm Saturday at Jura: Born In Flames
This radical feminist favourite rocked the foundations of the early Indie film world when it was released in 1983. It is a provocative, thrilling and still-relevantm political scif-fi fantasy set ten years after the 'Second American Revolution'. When Adelaide Norris, the black radical founder of the Woman's Army, is mysteriously killed, a diverse coalition of women - across all lines of race, class and sexual preference - emerges to take the revolution further than anyone ever imagined in their lifetimes.
6pm Saturday at Black Rose: Panther
This is a powerful telling of the years after 1966 when the militant Black Panthers fought against police harassment. The story focuses on a moderate black judge, outraged at the injustices against his community, who joins the Black Panthers but is targeted by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. It’s now up to Black Panthers’ Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton to battle this police state until the final violent showdown.
12pm Sunday at Jura: Paris is Burning
This documentary explores the world of the Harlem drag balls thrown by inner city black and Latino queens in the mid-1980s. These drag queens are famous for inventing 'voguing' - later appropriated by Madonna and others. The film features footage of the actual drag pageants, as well as in-depth interviews with ball participants. The film is a thoughtful exploration of race, class, and gender in America and investigates how its subjects deal with the adversity of racism, homophobia, AIDS, and poverty. Drag is presented as a complex performance of gender, class and race, in which one can express one's identity, desires and aspirations along many dimensions.
12pm Sunday at Black Rose: This Revolution
The B-movie faction of the International Black Bloc Movement presents a political thriller about why you can’t trust the corporate media. A cynical cameraman with experience in war photography is assigned to cover the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. There he meets a single mother who challenges his convictions and his heart. Using real footage shot during the convention, (including accidentally real footage of cast members being arrested) This Revolution gives a human face to radical political groups and the government’s reaction to them.
3pm Sunday at Jura: Libertarias
This 1996 feature film tells the story of a group of anarcha-feminists fighting in the Spanish Civil War. They face the problems of fighting not only the facists, but also factions on the left seeking to impose a more traditional military structure. The film encapsulates Spanish (and international) anarchism brilliantly - it is peppered with quotes from Bakunin, Kropotkin, and Durruti. It also depicts the absurd hypocrisy of the Catholic Spain that Franco and his fascists were defending. Unlike Land and Freedom, Libertarias portrays the Spanish Revolution as well as the Civil War, showing the CNT-FAI at their height, after having liberated Barcelona from the fascists in 1936. Libertarias does an excellent job of correcting many of the slanders launched against anarchism, and of unearthing one of the most important events of the 30's, the Spanish Revolution.
3pm Sunday at Black Rose: Land and Freedom
An idealistic young member of the British Communist Party who decides to join the leftist forces fighting fascism in 1936 Spain in this drama from director Ken Loach. Arriving in Catalonia, Carr finds his leftist splinter group, POUM, carrying outmoded weapons and sadly lacking in supplies. After tasting his first moments of combat and seeing a priest executed, Carr’s enthusiasm begins to wane; at length he begins to understand the vast chasm between the “latifundistas” (the landed gentry), and the “braceros” (the landless peasants), which is the crux of the conflict. Despite engaging in a considerable amount of ideological debate over the issues that divide the forces of the left, Carr finds time to fall in love with Blanca, an anarchist fighting alongside the men. A powerful depiction of a conflict rarely touched on by filmmakers.
6pm Sunday at Jura: Free Voice of Labour
This documentary from 1980 is set around the closing of America’s longest running anarchist newspaper - the Yiddish language ‘Fraye Arbeter Shtime’ (Free Voice of Labour). While the paper’s 87 year existence from 1890 is amazing, the stories of these elderly Jewish anarchists, still staunchly radical, are inspiring to hear.
6pm Sunday at Black Rose: The Weather Underground
This intensely captivating documentary focuses on the radical political activist group the Weathermen, who represented a small faction of political-minded protesters who believed that, in order to avoid being marginalized and ignored by the US government, they would need to take violent action. Speaking out with clear goals to intentionally inflict violence, their slogan was “Bring the War Home,” indicating that they would mimic on U.S. turf the violence that U.S. troops were ordered to carry out in Vietnam.
6pm Monday: Lucio Anarquista
Many anarchists have committed robbery or smuggling for their cause. Few have discussed strategies with Che Guevara or saved the skin of Eldridge Cleaver, of the Black Panthers. There is only one who has done all that, and also brought to its knees the most powerful bank on the planet by forging travellers cheques, without missing a single day of work at his job. He is Lucio Urtubia, from a tiny village in the North of Spain. This 2007 film tells his story.