Anarchist Documentary List


Rojava/Democratic Confederalism/Kurdish Freedom Movement

1. Rozava: The Country of Two Rivers

– Rojava doc made by Rojava Film Commune focusing on “civil side” of Revolution

2. Voices of Bakur

– Documentary on “Democratic Confederalist”/Kurdish Freedom movement in Turkey

3. Radio Kobani

– Doc on a young women’s radio project in Kobane, Rojava.

4. Fear Us Women

– Short documentary on women fighters in Rojava, with a focus on Hannah Bohman, a woman internationalist volunteer.

5. Our War

– Documentary on Rojava Revolution focusing on international volunteers.

6. Bakur (North): Inside the PKK (2015)

– Documentary on the PKK and Kurdish movement for “democratic confederalism”

7. Carnets d’un combattant kurde aka Primavera in Kurdistan (2006)

– Documentary following daily life of PKK fighters – covering Kurdish left movement/democratic confederalism.

8. Her War Women Vs. ISIS (2015)

– Documentary produced by Russia Today on women fighters in Rojava/volunteers and the struggle against ISIS.

9. Gulistan, Land of Roses (2016)

– Another PKK documentary (Gulistan is another name for Kurdistan) focusing on the women’s movement aspect and female guerrillas.

Spanish Civil War

10. An Anarchist’s Story (2007)

– Documentary on Ethel Macdonald. Scottish anarchist best known for being a broadcaster during the Spanish Civil War.

11. The Spanish Civil War [episodes 1-6]

– UK documentary series that references Bookchin’s writing on Spain heavily.

12. Into the Fire: American Women in the Spanish Civil War (2002)

– On women’s participation. A more “liberal” documentary that de-emphasizes the radicalism of volunteers and revolutionary aspects of Spanish Civil War.

13. CNT 1936-1939 (2012)

– Documentary collection (available on DVD) of a vast amount of CNT produced films from the period of the Spanish Civil War. Fascinating historical work. Spanish language only (as far as I know) for most work.

14. The NO-DO Years:1939 Victors and Vanquished (2006)

– Documentary collection (DVD) of the “NO-DO”s (shorts/newsreels) that were distributed during Spanish Civil War. Other periods and years are available. Spanish language only (as far as I know) for most materials.

15. Ispaniya aka Spain (1939)

– Documentary on the Spanish Civil War, edited by pioneering woman filmmaker Esfir Shub. Esfir Shub is a famous Soviet documentary filmmaker, who helped pioneer montage techniques and documentary filmmaking. This film is, due to her loyalties, more focused on the communists of Spain.

16. Celuloide Colectivo. El cine en guerra (2009)

– Documentary on CNT/anarcho-syndicalist film production during the Spanish Civil War. Includes interviews with participants and is not just a collection, but a broader overview of their work.

17. The Good Fight: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War (1984)

– Documentary on American internationalists in the Spanish Civil War

18. Memorias rotas aka Broken Memories (2010)

– Arthouse documentary on the Spanish Civil War in Galicia, with emphasis on a particular engagement and unit of Republican fighters led by an anarchist.

19. Indomables (2013)

– Documentary on Mujeres Libres, anarchist women’s organization. As far as I know Spanish language with Portuguese and Italian subtitles only.

20. De Toda la vida AKA All Our Lives (1986)

– Documentary on the Mujeres Libres anarchist women’s organization during the Spanish Civil War.

21. Durruti en la Revolucion Española (1988)

– Spanish language documentary on Buenaventura Durruti, anarchist militant and wartime commander during the Spanish Civil War.

22. Casas Viejas: El Grito del Sur (1996)

– Documentary focusing on a specific anarchist uprising in the Spanish Civil War (agrarian revolt in Casas Viejas). Spanish language only (as far as I know).

23. El Sopar (1974)

– Unusual documentary. Films a dinner conversation between five former political prisoners under the Franco regime. Spanish Civil War and Spanish left.

Zapatismo/Zapatista Movement

24. The Silence of the Zapatistas (2001)

– Documentary on Ethel Macdonald. Scottish anarchist best known for being a broadcaster during the Spanish Civil War.

25. A Place Called Chiapas (1998)

– Fairly early documentary on the Zapatista movement and uprising.

26. Zapatistas, crónica de una rebelión (2003)

– Another Zapatista documentary, with a wider view on the uprisings impact in Mexico and Mexican state’s response.

27. Zapatistas (1999)

– Zapatista documentary featuring interviews with many key figures in the movement.

28. The Sixth Sun: Mayan Uprising in Chiapas (1995)

– Another very early documentary on the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico against globalization/capitalism.

29. 30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle (2000)

– Not necessarily a pro-anarchist documentary, a journalist frames his own experiences throughout the demonstrations and crackdown.

Biographical Docs not in Previous Categories

30. Néstor Makhno, Paysan D’Ukraine (1996)

– Documentary on Nestor Makhno’s life, Ukrainian anarchist who fought during the Russian Revolution for an anarchist Ukraine. French language only (as far as I know).

31. Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin (2018)

– On the anarchist, or anarchist loved, author Ursula K. Le Guin.

32. Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (2012)

– Documentary featuring Angela Davis herself, on Black Power, left movement in U.S., and Angela Davis in particular.

33. Accidental Anarchist

– Documentary on former UK diplomat Carne Ross, who, after the Iraq war abandoned liberalism for anarchism. He is currently a proponent of the Rojava Revolution and other struggles. His TedTalk is a great introduction for those unfamiliar with anarchism.

34. Emma Goldman: An Exceedingly Dangerous Woman (2004)

– Biographic documentary on Emma Goldman.

35. The Cell (2008)

– Interview collection documentary with Antonio Negri (named for his “cell” – as he was a long time political prisoner while actively collaborating with Michael Hardt).

36. Sacco and Vanzetti (2006)

– Documentary on the trial and execution of two Italian-American anarchists, Sacco and Vanzetti. Was a worldwide cause and their innocence or guilt is still debated today (for those who think it’s relevant).

37. Antonio Negri: A Revolt That Never Dies (2005)

– Documentary on former militant and theorist of (highly uncredited anarchist influenced) “autonomous Marxism”

Globalization – Effects of Capitalism – Macro-documentaries

38. Terrorists: The Kids They Sentenced (2003)

– Documentary on anti-globalization protests in Sweden in 2001 and the extreme repression of activists.

39. Profit & Nothing But! Or Impolite Thoughts on the Class Struggle (2001)

– More “arthouse” documentary on globalization and capitalism’s impact on the poor of the world.

40. Surplus: Terrorized Into Being Consumers (2003)

– Documentary critique of globalization and capitalism – however leans towards a more primitivist anarchist viewpoint.

41. Breaking The Spell - Anarchists, Eugene, & The WTO (1999)

– Self-explanatory title on alterglobalization mobilizations! Documentary included in the Crimethinc collection. point.

42. No Border/ Un Homme idéal/ N’entre pas sans violence dans la nuit (2008)

– Sylvain George DVD documentary collection. George is an avant documentary filmmaker on the left – with numerous films on occupations, border controls, immigrant struggles, etc.

43. Raising Resistance (2011)

– Documentary about the revolt of soy farmers in Paraguay, their subsequent occupation/squatting and struggle over land and crop supply chains. Another globalization movie.

Mixed Films on Anarchism/Collections/Leftist history

44. CrimethInc. Guerilla Film Series, Vol.1 (2006)

– Collection of documentary features and shorts on the anarchist movement.

45. The Battle for the Liberation of Japan: Summer in Sanrizuka (1968)

– Experimental documentary on the ’68 revolt in Japan focusing on student movement and agrarian protest. The filmmaker has made many other “left” documentary films.

46. The Voice of Free Labor: The Jewish Anarchists (1980)

– Doc narrated by Paul Avrich on the American Jewish anarchist movement.

47. Anarchism in America (1983)

– Includes older footage and figures like Emma Goldman, alongside figures like Kenneth Rexroth, Murray Bookchin, and Molly Steimer. Strange but not bad, especially the interviews!

48. Antifascist Attitude (2008)

– Made by Russian anti-fascists (“The Children of Bakunin”), on the anti-fascist struggle there. Russia has one of the most violent, repressive and intense fascist movements.

49. Libertários AKA Libertarians (1976)

– Documentary focusing on the Brazilian anarchist movement at the turn of the century.

Published on April 27, 2020

Back to blog