Joel Sucher WriterKristina Boden, Gerald Kagan, Lora Myers Release dateJanuary 15, 1983 DirectorsSteven Fischler, Joel Sucher GenresDocumentary, History, Political cinema CastJello Biafra (Himself), Paul Avrich (Himself), Murray Bookchin (Himself), Karl Hess (Himself) Similar moviesDemocracy Is ..., Team America: World Police, Bigger Stronger Faster*, The Offspring: Rock am Ring Germany 2014, A Band Called Death, City of Splendour
Anarchism in America is a 1983 documentary, directed by Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher, and produced by Pacific Street Films. It has been re-released by AK Press to DVD. The film begins by explaining the filmmakers interest in anarchism based on their involvement in the group Transcendental Students while in film school at NYU. The film includes interviews with influential anarchists Murray Bookchin, Paul Avrich, Jello Biafra, Mollie Steimer and Karl Hess, and with poet Kenneth Rexroth. It also discusses the Spanish Civil War, the Russian Revolution, the influence of Emma Goldman and the case of executed anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti.
The film labels anarchism as the only ideology that is staunchly anti-authoritarian, and discusses how anarchist ideals align with the revolutionary, independent spirit of America from rural communities to urban zones.
A colorful and provocative survey of anarchism in America, the film attempts to dispel popular misconceptions and trace the historical development of the movement. The film explores the movement both as a native American philosophy stemming from 19th century American traditions of individualism, and as a foreign ideology brought to America by immigrants. The film features rare archival footage and interviews with significant personalities in anarchist history including Murray Boochkin and Karl Hess, and also live performance footage of the Dead Kennedys.