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Anarchism: A Documentary

category international | education | feature author Tuesday July 13, 2010 16:10author by Steffi and Aragorn Report this post to the editors

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Anarchism: A Documentary

To the best of our knowledge, no comprehensive documentary about anarchism has ever been made. This is a project to create a documentary which is as much a basic introduction to anarchism, as well as a story which looks at anarchism historically and globally.

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Fellow anarchists!

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 (at 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 :-)

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

PS: Our facebook page:
Both pages linked here contain a FAQ section for further information.

Related Link:
author by Peasantpublication date Thu Jul 15, 2010 23:57Report this post to the editors

I've got a bad feeling about this -- could be a wicked project mind -- but I hope it isn't interviews with Noam Chomsky, David Graeber, and other intellectuals. And lets hope it looks at the diversity of the anarchist movement rather than getting into sectarianism.

author by Steffi - Anarchist documentary teampublication date Sun Jul 18, 2010 22:02Report this post to the editors

don't worry :-) we're going to look at the diversity of anarchism. interviewing people from around the world. some intellectuals (we hope to interview both of the ones you mentioned) but most of them won't be :-)

author by AlexB - Common Causepublication date Tue Jul 20, 2010 08:09author email balchie at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

I have been wanting to do something similar to this for a while now.

I have already begun making contacts with folks on Pacific North America, and my organization (Common Cause) has considerable connections to folks in the North East (Canada and the US).

I had envisioned it as being an internationalist project, and thought it would be an excellent demonstration of international solidarity to have it collectively produced by anarchist groups around the world (NEFAC, Zabalaza, Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall, etc). As a plus, it could be released in multiple different languages via torrents (such as the documentary "To Shoot an Elephant" [])

I'm a trained editor and motion graphics designer, and would be very happy to be involved in a project like this, should you require any help.

balchie [at]

author by Steffi and Aragornpublication date Thu Jul 29, 2010 01:22Report this post to the editors

Hey all,

We're now well underway with the planning for our travels (which start in South America on November 4th), how we're going structure the documentary, who we're going to talk to, groups we're aiming to meet and so forth.

From a promotional point of view we're sitting at 520 members on our facebook page and $555 in funds raised currently...That means that if each of you donated $15 we'd have reached our modest funding goal. If we fail to meet it we'll still forge ahead as best we can, but it would certainly be a helpful boost and allow for a better end product ;-)

More importantly, please continue suggesting ideas, people and groups to interview, what to include / not include and so forth. Also let other folks know about what we're doing - we'd really like as much support from the global anarchist community as possible.

Thank you for all the support so far - the level of interest from groups and individuals around the world has been encouraging and has made us feel like we're in the right place at the right time with this idea :-)

We've decided to keep a blog of our journey, perhaps even with some video clips to keep your interest piqued during the filming process and the subsequent process of turning all that raw footage into a worthwhile piece of documentary cinema. We'll keep you posted on this and other details as they emerge.

With hope,
Steffi, Aragorn and friends

author by Sacha Deschenespublication date Thu Jul 29, 2010 21:38Report this post to the editors

Traduction francophone à cet endroit :

author by Steffipublication date Fri Jul 30, 2010 00:12Report this post to the editors

merci beaucoup!

author by Praxispublication date Sun Aug 15, 2010 23:22author email elephant_room at yahoo dot co dot ukReport this post to the editors

"More importantly, please continue suggesting ideas, people and groups to interview, what to include / not include and so forth. Also let other folks know about what we're doing - we'd really like as much support from the global anarchist community as possible."

Best of luck with this. I will try to help financially.

Re, those requests for ideas...

Here's a link to an excellent documentary, done on a shoe-string budget by Jonathan Shockley (aka he is on youtube as mr1001nights). I think it is well edited and includes a lot in its 80mins runtime

It includes sections on Spain, interviews with Chomsky, Albert etc.
It's based upon the work of Thomas Ferguson UMass prof. and author of "Golden Rule: the Investment Theory of Party Competition". The book is a powerful argument against representative democracy. Essentially the theory focuses on how business elites, not voters, play the leading part in political systems. The theory offers an alternative to the conventional, voter-focused, political alignment theory, which has been criticized by Ferguson, et al. Anyway it's no so much the content (which is most useful), moreso what can be done on a small budget using a selection of interviews.

But I think such an all-encompassing documentary on Anarchism, would probably have to be longer that 80minutes and it'd be good to include the latest research and ideas which support Anarchism. For instance recent developments in the economics sphere, such as the work of Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel in, participatory economics, or Elinor Ostrom's work on "governing the commons", recent studies on commons ownership over corporate or governmental management ( ), Thomas Ferguson's work, the free software movement, efficacy of employee self-management, participatory planning and budgeting, etc.

Including all of this, works against the view that Anarchism is naive, or that fighting for an alternative against capitalism is futile. Or Thatcher's TINA doctrine that there's no alternative to markets or central planning. People agree with us on a lot of our criticisms of capitalism, however, they can tend to think the fight against it, is like fighting against gravity...

Nobel Prize in Economics to Elinor Ostrom “for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons”

Why Participatory Economics?

Anarchist Planning Interview

Anarchist Planning For Twenty-First Century Economies: A Proposal

author by Iqshanpublication date Sun Jun 26, 2011 15:47author email IqshanB at easy dot comReport this post to the editors

You're not going to get much in the way of contributions or support if you're saluting that fraud Chomsky while he sits there mentally planning his next copyright renewal or adding up the funds salted away in one of his trusts

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