PERFORMING ARTS

Film and the Anarchist Imagination

Univ. of Illinois. 2d ed. ed. Oct. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780252043338. $125. FILM
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First published in 1999, this classic scholarly text examines cinematic representations of anarchism, such as the alternately threatening and bumbling but always fanatically violent anarchist, as well as self-representations including the tendency to depict one’s own dissent positively while glossing over uncomfortable facts. This expanded second edition features discussions of poststructuralism and postanarchism, Eurocentrism, films produced in the years since the first edition, and the increasing scholarly interest in anarchist film, in part owing to online accessibility of anarchist films and media. Porton (editor, Cineaste) notes that this book is not meant to be encyclopedic but rather to give a comprehensive overview. In the introduction, he briefly reviews “the most influential strands of left-libertarian thought,” tracing across theorists such as Max Stirner, Pierre-Joseph, Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, and Emma Goldman and laying a foundation of anarchist thought for readers. Other topics addressed include feminism, sexual liberation, Marxism, utopianism, productivity, the revolt against work, education and schooling, the Occupy movement, and police violence.
VERDICT For film scholars and those interested in anarchism and other revolutionary movements.

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