4/24 Movie Night, Double Bill: Land and Freedom plus Libertarias

Sunday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Movie Night, Double Bill: Land and Freedom plus Libertarias

Join us for a Spanish Revolution double feature–and popcorn!

Ken Loach’s powerful film Land and Freedom (109 minutes) begins in 1994 with the death of Dave Carne, an octogenarian working-class Liverpudlian, living alone in a tower block, its hallways daubed with National Front and anti-NF graffiti. His granddaughter, a woman in her twenties, opens a case of his mementos that take her back through labor history to the Spanish Civil War. It transpires that the unemployed David (played by Ian Hart), an idealistic member of the Communist Party, made his way to Spain to fight for the Loyalist cause, and (as George Orwell did) found himself serving with a military group attached to POUM, the Marxist revolutionary group, in Barcelona. Loach makes us feel that we are alongside Dave, training with the militia, taking part in battles, and thrilling to the comradeship of fellow volunteers united in opposition to fascism. In Spain in 1937, David has a painful lesson that leads from naivety to maturity without making him a cynic. Yet he retains his belief in the essential decency of working people and their right to control their own destinies, individually and as a community.

Libertarias (121 minutes), written and directed by Vicente Aranda, is a Spanish historical drama made in 1996. In the midst of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War in Barcelona, militia women Pilar (played by 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, encountering resistance even within their own “Free Women” (Mujeres Libres) organization as one woman (who 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 frontline soldiers.

$2-5 donation to benefit Station 40’s event infrastructure fund (but no one turned away for lack of money)

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