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(en) acracia.org: THE FILM "LAND AND FREEDOM" AND ANARCHISM (ca) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 31 Jan 2016 16:19:59 +0200


First of all, and providing some historical legitimacy to what the film Land and Freedom chronicles, regardless of its quality, say it should be known that the inspiration is largely in George Orwell and his Homage to Catalonia . Orwell leads Spain in late 1936 and in the book recounts his experiences as a militant in the POUM (Workers Party of Marxist Unification)showing the anti-Stalinist repression suffered this political force by the Communists. While staying within a Marxist party, Orwell professes his admiration for the anarchist revolutionary work in the city of Barcelona; It will be a pleasant surprise when the British libertarians in the real builders of socialism, not only in the economic field, also in the daily habits of life and always considering freedom as the primary consideration.

We insist that we talk about memories of such an important writer like Orwell, moral reference point in his critique of totalitarian regimes; We have not yet entered into the intricacies of a screenplay, as realistic as you like, but to fiction after all. Orwell also narrate their avatars in front, from February to May 1937; May 20 will be hurt on the Aragon front and sent back to Barcelona to be very different from that experienced months earlier situation: the Stalinists have taken control of the city and has been returned to the bourgeois privileges of yesteryear . We'll see how Loach's film, although very briefly and incompletely, tells similar events.

David, speaking and film, is a communist militant Englishman who attends a conference in his hometown in which external aid to the Republic in Spain is requested. We will see the evolution of this character, a naive Original communist militancy and an absolute lack of knowledge about the Spanish policy to a progressive awareness of what will be the real revolutionary work. David, before the initial failure to find his Communist comrades, just enrolling in a POUM militia; the film is to show a value equal coexistence between men and women, and among people of various nationalities who have come to the aid of freedom against fascism; this spirit of militia will be quite different, as expressed in a line of dialogue, militarized People's Army controlled by the Communists.

Is known the respect he has Loach for giving as truthfully as possible and, indeed, the chosen actors are of various nationalities (very unlike what we see so often in certain products), so it is essential to see the original subtitled version a film in which we speak in different languages. However, the desire to show Loach by a perfectly united "heterodox" or if you like "anti-authoritarian" left is the less suspicious; drift of war and revolution, more than any other factor, which was supposed anarchists and anti-Stalinist Marxist finally walked together in some respects (especially being targeted both of Stalinist repression), but not much less a common front which they could do before these events, can not be simplified both in history and in politics.

It is perhaps much demand, a feature film, which we clearly explain the complex political situation in the Spanish civil conflict. However, we believe that it is a fair criticism denouncing the excessive romantic halo that follows the film, touching Manichaeism at times, when you mostrársenos a revolutionary united front regardless of ideologies. The sequence of assembly-decision on the collectivization of land, in particular people freed from the fascists, is one of the most visible achievements of the film, is commendable and moving in many ways; so it is said, the spontaneity of actors and extras will be sought, sought between true anarchist militants today and also among people who could not understand the development of the revolution, what gives greater added value. However, this sequence is rather isolated in the whole work and the film suffers from greater specificity and context; that is, in the end what is most weight is that it is a nice film of oppressed taking finally the "promised land". We do not want to get too in what was the real revolutionary policy the POUM as a force or actual disputes they may have with the anarchists; however, it is very suspect in a movie obvious libertarian spirit of the pervasiveness of this match especially when you do not want to detail in the narrative, some political and yes show peasants and workers own the means of production taking to manage their lives.

In Land and Freedom they appear fleetingly, known as events of May 37; these events definitely faced in Catalonia, even with weapons, revolutionary anarchists and POUM with representatives of the republican legality, especially with the Communists. Loach's film shows us, without giving further explanations, the site of Telefonica in central Barcelona, a stronghold of the CNT. It was a clear symbol of the revolutionary gains, the Catalan Generalitat forces, along with the Communists and other members of the republican legality, did not hesitate to attack. It was a tactic of the Stalinists and their allies to seize power from the workers' committees, which strongly collided with workers in arms.

Unfortunately, the final defeat came and became a symbol of the decline of the libertarian revolution. Although it is understood that it is impossible to explain everything in a film, it's incredible conversion David; renunciation of military and enlisted in the republican army for his communist convictions, so he is forced to attack the building of Telefonica and only after exchanging a few shots with the besieged, and to exchange a few words with an English fellow who is on the other side, finally sees the light, you understand that it is a puppet of Stalin's plans and returns to fight alongside the militia reconciling with White. To explain Stalin's policy in the Spanish war, we explained at some point that the Soviet dictator wants to look good to the capitalist democracies (which never helped the Spanish Republic), destroying the revolution and using workers "as chess pieces "in order to achieve trade agreements. It is at least a good basis for understanding the blackmail that came under the Republic and the growth of minority forces such as the Communist Party and its regional version of the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia.

White's character, object of romantic interest of David, is paradigmatic. Has often been referred to as an anarchist, but is it really? It seems more a figure that tries to reconcile the heterodox Marxism, represented by a political party (the allusions White POUM, their means and their leaders, are excessive for a libertarian character), with anarchism; Significantly handkerchief bearing, although many times it has wanted to see how rojinegro, is actually red and finish appearing at the end of the film become a symbol for a new generation that sings ... International!

It would be unfair not to refer, without more, as an argument to criticize his work, the political affiliation of Ken Loach, who has always said Trotskyist, but his film is manipulative in many ways and ends a communist plot aspect that antiauthoritarian; to respect the spirit of the film, greater respect for the anarchist aesthetic as obvious symbol of the anti-authoritarian socialism (not of a kind of anti-Stalinist Marxism) would have been necessary. White's death at the hands of the Stalinist Communists, now turned into an army (including some former militia member who had previously used the official Communist argument win the war first and then we will come the revolution), but is impossible not to get excited by its symbolism, just to reflect, it also forced and manipulative. It seems, by all accounts, a successful end to a valuable film, but questionable in many aspects.

However, Land and Freedom had an unquestionable value. The premiere of the film in Spain, in 1995, a country with many problems of historical memory, put it back in the limelight issues that also had been silenced by the official left. It is no coincidence that the film did not like anything ineffable Santiago Carrillo, former communist and Stalinist leader at the time of the Civil War, and try to attack what she held in calling the revolutionary protagonists of "irresponsible adventurers"; nothing new, the Stalinist and hackneyed argument that fortunately can not stop the push of historical truth. Fortunately, aside from controversies and film quality, the film had a certain depth in the younger audience and guessed some strengthening to the hope of a libertarian alternative to the economic and political system that we suffer.

Capi Vidal

http://acracia.org/el-film-tierra-y-libertad-y-el-anarquismo/
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