May Film Festival – 15 new films! (see FILMS)

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Il Figlio di Bakunin – The Son of Bakunin (1997 Gianfranco Cabiddu – Italian)

In Sardegna, alla fine degli anni Trenta, Antoni Saba, proprietario di una calzoleria in un paesino di minatori, vive con spirito libertario e indipendente, al punto di avere ricevuto da tutti il soprannome di Bakunin. Tullio Saba diventa quindi, per quanti lo conoscono, il figlio di Bakunin. Dagli anni Trenta alla fine degli anni Cinquanta, Tullio, cresciuto e diventato uomo, intreccia la propria storia con quella dell’isola, la guerra, il difficile dopoguerra, le lotte sociali, la ricostruzione, i problemi legati allo sviluppo e alla modernizzazione della terra, del lavoro, della vita familiare. Si susseguono, tra una ricostruzione e l’altra di vari episodi, le testimonianze di chi l’ha conosciuto, di chi l’ha amato, di chi ne ha avuto paura. Chi era Tullio in realtà? Un capopopolo, un opportunista, un idealista, un traditore, un eroe? Quando Tullio muore, lascia un figlio, che oggi, a sua volta cresciuto, è tornato in quei luoghi per ricostruire la vita di un padre che non ha mai conosciuto di persona e che cerca di scoprire, facendo parlare uomini e donne, amici e nemici.
Gianfranco Cabiddu directed this mockumentary on the life and loves of fictional Italian folk hero Tullio Saba (Fausto Siddi) – miner, wedding singer, anti-fascist, unionist, and politician. Based on the book by Sergio Adtzeni, the faux documentary employed many non-professionals to portray Tullio’s family, friends, and opponents. Shown at 1998 film fests (Venice, Rotterdam), the English language title of this film is The Son of Bakunin

I diari della Sacher: Vita di un anarchico sardo (2001 – Roberto Nanni – Italian)

E’ la storia di Antonio Ruju: dalle origini nella poverissima Sardegna inizio ‘900 alla lotta al fascismo, fino alla completa adesione all’anarchismo. La sua vita è costellata di episodi straordinari che hanno come elemento dominante la lotta ai soprusi e alle ingiustizie.  (Libro di memorie di Antonio Ruju “Vita di un anarchico” tratto dall’Archivio diaristico di Pieve Santo Stefano)

TESTAMENT by Duncan Pickstock (13 films)

I tend not to take a position. I am against many things but for very little.  I see the worst in everyone and in every situation. I believe nobody acts out of altruism and everybody has an agenda. Everybody’s in it for what they can get.  I think those who profess to truly believe in something are either careerist scoundrels who see it as a vehicle to take them where they want to go or naive people who don’t get the bigger picture. Idiots at worst, deluded at best. But at the same time, there is an element of envy on my part. Cynicism is exhausting.  Always sitting on the fence sniping at the committed becomes a pain in the arse.  To believe must be liberating. No more questions, only certainty. And there are those whose convictions can’t be so readily dismissed. There are many intelligent  people who believe something so strongly that they  use violence in its name. Many kill and risk being killed not for personal profit or because they or their loved ones are threatened, but because morally they feel they have no alternative. Testament is a series of interviews with people who, over the last 70 years felt compelled to involve themselves in armed struggle because they felt it was the right thing to do : men who went to fight fascism in Spain in the 1930s, who took up arms for the radical left in Britain in the 1960’s and 70s or who went to fight in Beirut in the late 70’s and others who went to fight in Croatia and Bosnia in the 1990s.  The subjects of the films don’t talk about what they did after they decided to fight. They are not war stories. Rather the films try and explore what it was that led these individuals to feel so strongly about something that they were prepared to fight in defence of it. The project is a study of those who have chosen to fight not because they are compelled to by their government but because they feel that morally they have no alternative. The subjects of the films have all, over the last 70 years, chosen to risk their lives because they felt it was the right thing to do. They are not mercenaries as they were not motivated by the money they could earn, their motives were not so crass and are infinitely more difficult to quantify. So, when so many choose not to act, what is it that makes someone choose to fight for something so much bigger than their country? Each person interviewed tells their story in their own words, and every interview has been approved. Please note that each film has a 10 second lead-in in black.

Interviewees: Bob Doyle; Chris Allen; Conrad Singer; Danny Kington; John Barker; Lars Newbould; Mark Barnsley; Martyn Lacey; Sam Lesser; Steve Fullarton; Stuart Christie; Terry Maloney

Satan’s Little Helpers

Satan’s Little Helpers (or ‘The Men In the Lobby’) An Essay by William Clark
[Download the PDF here]

Those individuals who go by the name ‘Lobbyists’ or ‘Pollsters’ or ‘Political consultants’ or ‘Communications consultants’ have gone to some lengths in an effort to influence how we think about certain things.  On behalf of their clients, they have disguised themselves as some unlikely organisations as part this ultimately deceptive process.  One variant of this, analysed here, is the survey as a form of lobbying politicians.  The term ‘lobbying’, is used here to mean undue influence behind the scenes, buying privileged access and the manipulation of the democratic elements of the political process.  The concerns expressed here are that the public know very little about this development and confusion reigns in how MPs (the particular focus is on MSPs) fail to report these contacts convincingly and adequately.  To gain an understanding of what is going on here we must also take into account how embedded into the political process the ‘pollsters’ are, how connected to press coverage and the public image of the politic system they have become

¡PISTOLEROS! – The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg 2: 1919, Farquhar McHarg — eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

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The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg  ¡Pistoleros! — 2: 1919,  Farquhar McHarg
ISBN-13:  ISBN 9781873976-41-8, pp210 (230mm x 153mm)
£14.00 (inc.p+p UK); £16.00
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Click [Pistoleros 2] for a PDF with full details

Pistoleros! 2: 1919 is the second volume of the memoirs and notebooks of Farquhar McHarg, a seventy-six-year-old anarchist from the Govan district of Glasgow, its writing prompted by the murder, in October 1976, of his lifelong friend, Laureano Cerrada Santos. McHarg’s Chronicles record his evolving beliefs and sense of mission, and the remarkable adventures he experienced from the day he sailed into the neutral port of Barcelona in the spring of 1918, a naïve but idealistic eighteen-year-old, and 1976. Farquhar’s Chronicles are folk history, bringing the changes that shook the political and social landscape of Spain (and the world) between 1918 and 1976 into the framework of adult lifetime. They make a vexatious but fascinating story that provides a deep insight into the spirit that moved the selfless, generous,  occasionally naïve and recklessly idealistic people who were involved in the bitter social struggles that marked the hectic insurrectionary and utopian aftermath of the great imperialist war of 1914¬1918.

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It’s a Working Man I Am

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Stop Press: We are pleased to announce that we have a few copies for sale of the DVD ‘Lucio’ at £10.00 (English subtitles, 91 minutes). First come, first served … (Paypal payments to

“The banks are the real crooks,” says Lucio Urtubia decisively. “They exploit you, take your money and cause all the wars.” Lucio therefore had no moral scruples about forging Citybank travellers’ cheques. His motivation was not his own gain, but to dent confidence in this powerful financial institution. Lucio was arrested for this and ended up in prison, but soon got back on his feet. Lucio is an engaging portrait of the anarchist Lucio Urtubia, born in Northern Spain in 1931, and who deserted from the Spanish army during his military service, going on to work as a tiler in Paris, where he immersed himself in the world of the Spanish exiles. Rapidly inter-cut archive images, interview fragments and reconstructed impressions are used to look back on his incredible life. A meeting with the legendary Quico Sabaté (1915-1960) put Lucio on the anarchist path, whereby his talents as a forger of identity papers and currency came in particularly useful. His real anarchist nature is revealed in his highly particular, carelessly expressed visions of phenomena such as Franco, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, the Black Panthers, May 1968 and the institution of marriage. This gives body to a lively ‘cops and robbers’ story in which – according to the best traditions – the true scale of Lucio’s role is never completely revealed