Anarchist movies at MoMA this weekend

October 13, 2012
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Anarchist Movies of the Spanish Civil War

Introduced by Edouard Waintrop

Sunday, October 14, 2012, 1:00 p.m. Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

Includes the following films:

Report on the Revolutionary Movement 1936. Spain. Directed by Mateo Santos. An activist in Confederacion National del Trabajo (CNT), the anarcho-syndicalist confederation of labor unions, Mateo Santos began to shoot this footage in the streets of Barcelona on July 20, 1936, at the moment the military coup failed and the anarchists took control of the city. The first of three documentaries Santos made from an anarchist perspective, Report has exceptional immediacy in documenting what André Malraux called the “lyrical illusion” of revolution. Preserved by the Filmoteca Española, Madrid. In Spanish; English subtitles. 22 min.

Flesh of Beasts 1936. Spain. Written and directed by Armand Guerra. With Miguel Ángel Navarro, Manuel Jiménez. A printer, labor organizer, and anarchist journalist, the peripatetic Guerra (born José Estivalis in a village outside Valencia) founded a film cooperative in pre-World War I Paris and directed a movie about the Paris Commune, was exiled to Switzerland, made a series of movies in Spain, moved on to Germany, and returned to Spain with the creation of the Republic. Carne de fieras—in which a boxer with an unfaithful wife falls in love with a carnival dancer who performs naked in the lions’ cage—was in production when civil war broke out. Bombs were falling before Guerra finished the movie; he then left for the front to make documentaries for the CNT. He died in Paris in 1939. Preserved by the Filmoteca Española, Madrid. In Spanish; English subtitles. 68 min.

Sunday, October 14, 2012, 3:30 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

Barrios Bajos 1937. Spain. Directed by Pedro Puche. Screenplay by Lluís Elias. With Matilde Artero, Baltasar Banquells, Esperanza Barrero. In the lone example of anarcho-syndicalist “poetic realism,” a young bourgeois shoots his wife’s lover and takes refuge in the Barcelona slums, hidden by a good-hearted longshoreman with a beautiful goddaughter. The Franco regime missed the movie’s political implications and Puche was able to continue his career (albeit briefly) after the Republic’s fall. Preserved by the Filmoteca Española, Madrid. In Spanish; English subtitles. 94 min.

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