No Pasaran, the pledge that made them fight
Adelante was the cry around the hillside
Let us all remember them tonight.
To try and stem the rising fascist tide
Franco’s allies were the powerful and wealthy
Frank Ryan’s men came from the other side.
1936. David an unemployed young man, leaves Liverpool to join the fight against Fascism in the early days of the Spanish Civil War. He joins an international section of the Republican Militia on the Aragon front where he experiences the trials and anguish of the war.Wounded, he convalesces in Barcelona and is caught in the conflict on the Republican side between the Communist Party and his revolutionary comrades in the militia.The resolution of this conflict and David’s return to the front may seem tragic but his belief in the possibility of revolutionary change is unshaken. His story is revealed only after his death, sixty years later, in letters discovered by his granddaughter.
Drama-documentary telling the story of Ethel MacDonald (1909-1960), an anarchist from Motherwell, one of the countless people who made their individual pilgrimage to Spain. In October 1936 Ethel left Glasgow with Jenny Patrick, another long-time anarchist activist who had been secretary of the Glasgow Anarchists during the industrial troubles of 1916. Ethel became a regular broadcaster on the English-language programmes of the Barcelona CNT-FAI radio station. Their high profile and defence of the social revolution led to both Ethel and Jenny being arrested and held without trial by the Stalinist secret police. Her extraordinary story is told in Chris Dolan’s ‘An Anarchist’s Story: The Life of Ethel Macdonald’, a fascinating, personal account of the pivotal events of the spring and summer of 1937.
Libertarias: In the midst of the Spanish Revolution and Spanish Civil War in Barcelona, militia women Pilar (Ana Belen) and Floren (Victoria Abril) are joined by former prostitute Charo (Loles Leon) and former nun Maria (Ariadna Gil). The film opens with scenes of working class militants demolishing and burning religious icons, as they shout “down with Capitalism!” and “long live the libertarian revolution!” While fully immersed in the overall enthusiasm of revolutionary Spain, Pilar and friends find themselves fighting against deep gender inequality which complicates their efforts in the war against Francisco Franco’s Nationalist/Fascist/Catholic forces. They encounter resistance even within their own “Free Women” (Mujeres Libres) organization as one woman (that resembles Federica Montseny) tries to persuade them to stay and work in defense factories, while men try to convince them to go work as cooks, not front-line soldiers.
Butterfly is the English language DVD release title for La lengua de las mariposas (Spanish The Tongue of the Butterflies), a 1999 Spanish film directed by José Luis Cuerda. The film centers on Moncho and his coming-of-age experience in Galicia in 1936. Moncho develops a close relationship with his teacher Don Gregorio who introduces the boy to different things in the world. While the story centers on Moncho’s ordinary coming-of-age experiences, tensions related to the looming Spanish Civil War periodically interrupt Moncho’s personal growth and daily life.
A documentary about Anarchist communities established by the CNT/FAI, an Spanish revolutionary group. The Spanish Anarchist experiment is the largest and most compelling example of Anarchism being implemented in the real world..Workers opened communal cafes where people could eat for free. Communities set up food committees to arrange food supply with the countryside — market commerce and money was replaced in many areas by distribution according to need. Free schools, universities and health programs were set up and administrated by the workers themselves. Rural areas were collectivised. This experience, in which about 8 million people participated, showed that anarchist organisation of society could indeed work in practice. It truly was a Living Utopia.
A documentary chronicling the lives of women of the anarchist-feminist organization, Mujeres Libres (Free Women), during the Spanish Revolution (1936–39). Interviewees include former members discussing revolutionary Spain and women’s involvement in the war, their relationship to the other anarchist organizations at the time — and their lives since. Decades later, Mujeres Libres remains a model for revolutionary feminist theory and action. In Spanish, with English subtitles.
The Spanish Earth (1937) was an agitprop film (in English) aimed at mobilising US support for the cause of the Spanish Republic. It was written by John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway (with the involvement of Hollywood and other prominent personalities including Fredric March, Luise Rainer, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, and Archibald MacLeish in the financing of its production company, “Contemporary Historians, Inc.”). The film was directed by the Dutch pro-Soviet communist Joris Ivens with a voice-over by Hemingway.