Living Utopia – Anarchism in Spain

Original title: Vivir la Utopía.
Language: Spanish with English subtitles.
Length: 95 minutes.
Release date: 1997

Living Utopia is a unique documentary that blends the historical account of the origins and development of the Spanish anarchist movement, and the revolution of 1936 — illustrating an anarchist society in action.

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.

This documentary-film by Juan Gamero consists of 30 interviews with those involved, and is both an informative and inspiring piece of research. The testimonies of the anarchist militants are very moving and show the constructive work of the social revolution in Spain, as well as the amazing educational and cultural events which lead up to 1936. Interviews are combined with visual materials such as manifestos, photographs, excerpts from film documentaries, portraits and other relevant graphical elements.


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