Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Film and the Anarchist ImaginationExpanded Second Edition$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Richard Porton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043338

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043338.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Anarchism and Cinema

Anarchism and Cinema

Representation and Self-Representation

(p.9) 1. Anarchism and Cinema
Film and the Anarchist Imagination

Richard Porton

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses how, from early cinema to the present, the demonization of anarchist protagonists is evident in films made by both commercial hacks and auteurs with more rarefied sensibilities. Most filmmakers usually proffer de-historicized versions of anarchism, which nurture specific agendas that have little to do with historical reality. It is important to remember, nonetheless, that hyperbolic images of anarchist terrorists, conspicuous in both Hollywood and European cinema, from the early work of Edwin S. Porter and D. W. Griffith to the apparently more sophisticated films of European cineastes such as Claude Chabrol and Bertrand Tavernier, do not exist in a vacuum. For this reason, a brief historical excursus is necessary to explain the staying power of the wild-eyed, homicidal anarchist as a popular cinematic stereotype. The chapter then looks at the ambiguous representations of anarchism in the twenty-first century and the perils of self-representation, assessing Joel Sucher and Steven Fischler's documentary Anarchism in America (1981). It also considers the link between “free love” and anarchist sexual politics. Finally, the chapter addresses anarcho-feminism in cinema and the question of violence.

Keywords:   cinema, anarchist protagonists, anarchism, anarchist terrorists, cinematic stereotype, self-representation, anarchist sexual politics, anarcho-feminism, violence

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.