Documentary ~ An Anarchist's Story [theArchit3kt]
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Documentary: An Anarchist's Story - Ethel MacDonald
(with Noam Chomsky)
Running Time: 1h 15min 1sec
File Format: AVI
Video Codec: MPEC-4, 480:360 , 1028kbps, 30 fps
Audio Codec: mp3, stero, 128 kbps
This drama-documentary tells the story of Ethel MacDonald. A forgotten legend, her story ranks alongside the courage of 'La Pasionaria' and the legendary 'Odette'. Whilst both these women sustained world-wide recognition, our Scots heroine dwindled into obscurity and remains forgotten to this day.
Ethel MacDonald's own intimate recollections are presented through a definitive mix of documentary and drama, re-visiting the Killing Fields that were the Spanish Civil War. Supporting commentary spoken by David Hayman paired with expert interviews, including Noam Chomsky, provides background knowledge of 1930's European Politics and a further insight into the young Scot's motives, actions and social situation.
The film links her own personal drama to specific archive footage of Barcelona in disarray - an image Ethel MacDonald came to know so well.
During ten months in 1936 and 1937 some 3 million men, women and children were involved in one of the most radical revolutions in world history.
In the countryside surrounding Barcelona peasants formed communes on land confiscated from old ruling elite. Workers took over the factories. Police were replaced with civilian self-defence forces.
In Catalonia three-quarters of the economy was under anarchists control. Hotels, shops, barber shops and restaurants were collectivised and managed by their workers, often making them more efficient. In some communes money was entirely eliminated and replaced with vouchers and bartering schemes.
It was this setting that saw Ethel MacDonald play her part in the greatest ideological struggle of modern times.
Ethel MacDonald was born in Bellshill, West of Scotland, in 1910 the free-spirited daughter of a large working class family - but from such humble beginnings often come extraordinary stories.
At the time of our story Ethel is 27 years old. She is determined - almost to the point of obsession. She is confident of her values and her abilities and is completely fearless. As an Anarchist she is politically aware and has a burning desire for social justice.
Ethel was dark-haired, small of stature, and mesmerising company. She was a classic Scottish auto-didact - everything she has learned has taken will-power, study and patience.
She is a mercurial character - fast-talking, quick-witted, a workaholic. But she is also a constant friend. In 'An Anarchist's Story' - through her own words and via our reconstructions - one characteristic more than any other shines through: her deep, undying passion.
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Wow! Excited to see this.
May 19 2010, 14:58 CEST
I have just finished this. It is inspiring.
May 23 2010, 04:53 CEST
who can answer:
Are there other visual materials or books that link the anarchist revolution of the Ethel Macdonald period with the Mondragon Cooperative of Northern Spain today?
Where I live a Spanish firm has been given the contract for some high speed rail. How will the current problems of banking in Spain potentially break down what has been achieved in Spain. Also how could it effect this project on high speed rail in the US?
May 26 2010, 22:40 CEST
Doing my own research I didn't see anything connecting Talgo America with Mondragon Cooperative. Apparently Talgo has been in the train biz here for some time:
I am not close to all these doings but my town was one of the options for Talgo to locate.
May 26 2010, 22:54 CEST
I think The Ratman Chronicle is infinitely more inspiring.
You can download it here.
I liked this a lot, however.
Aug 13 2010, 08:14 CEST
I agree, to some extent, Sir. The Ratman may indeed be more inspiring, but in a bit of a different way. More modern, to be sure, in its actualization of Anarchism in the form of serious commentary. I think anyone who enjoys this one, should most definitely have a look at The Ratman Chronicle. I think it's available on a number of torrent sites.
Nov 13 2011, 01:55 CET
Are you saying you are in favor of the high speed train? I think anarchist inspired anti-high speed train direct action like in Italy is more likely to stop these sorts of projects than a recession. Here's hoping they all burn.
Nov 13 2011, 03:06 CET
I am only in favour of tossing Signore Berlusconi and his like from high speed trains. Otherwise, their usefullness is dubious at best. Hasta la victoria siempre!
Nov 13 2011, 03:36 CET
Well while being careful not to confuse Italy with Spain I will look for the Ratman Chronicles.
I said that Talgo had the contract but I didn't say I favored it save for it helping jobs. Over time Talgo decided to make their plant in Milwaukee ( the major large city in Wisconsin. Once that was done I became an active critic of what i considered a plaything of the professional class.
Eventually the new governor (about whom the Wisconsin jihad in February was invoked regarding anti-union policy) eventually refused federal funding for the project.
This is not Europe. The train would benefit few and the most salient argument is that there is no culture of mass transit here. Surveys of young people done by a government agency showed that high schoolers considered mass transit to be for the old, the poor and the disabled: very indicative of the general exceptionalism of the higher rungs of class in the US.
For that reason I was against it and favor an expanded bus system with Regional Transit Authority.
Did we ever determine if "An Anarchists Life" is available on DVD so I can request it for acquisition at my public library?
One other note: I'm watching Lizzie Borden's "Born In Flames" about an American uprising where women become the dominant culture. In light of the Occupy movement many of these cultural and historic scenarios are getting a fresh look.
Nov 13 2011, 04:02 CET