Spring 1936, a young unemployed communist, David, leaves his hometown Liverpool to join the fight against fascism in Spain. He joins an international group of Militia-men and women, the ... See full summary »
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Spring 1936, a young unemployed communist, David, leaves his hometown Liverpool to join the fight against fascism in Spain. He joins an international group of Militia-men and women, the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista). After being wounded he goes to Barcelona, where he decides to join another group of fighters. They remain in Barcelona and end up fighting other anti-fascist groups. David is disappointed and decides to go back to his old band. Written by
Walter de Rijk <W.C.A.de.Rijk@let.uva.nl>
Anarchists have remained almost invisible in mass media films. Worse, when they have appeared, it is generally some bourgeois stereotype of anarchists as violent or some socialist stereotype of anarchists as infantile. Here they are shown more accurately as organized and committed to the nitty-gritty basics of the revolution of everyday life.
British director Ken Loach made a film that finally attempts an anarchist's view of anarchists in Spain during the civil war against the fascists. The victors write history, so as losers of that war, their history has for too long remained untold. But this 1995 film, "Land & Freedom" shows what they were fighting for and what they were fighting against. One of the best aspects here is that the film also shows how the communists aggressively destroyed the anarchists more than their supposed common enemy. This I take as a lesson for today's left:
The melancholy hopelessness of our own 21st century is a consequence of that tragic defeat by the fascists -- largely because the Left fragmented and was brutally dominated by Leninist dictators. Historical progress is now merely spinning its wheels in futility, recycling every old thing again as a farce. The only solution is land and freedom.
P.S. Another sympathetic film based on these events is "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1943) based on the Hemingway novel, starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman. This one is less politically aware however, so it focuses more on the romance. See info at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035896/combined
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