Saturday, 25 July 2015

Angry Brigade (1974) Persons Unknown (1980)

The Angry Brigade (1974 - Gordon Carr)
Between 1970 and 1972 the Angry Brigade used guns and bombs in a series of symbolic attacks against property. A series of communiqués accompanied the actions, explaining the choice of targets and the Angry Brigade philosophy: autonomous organisation and attacks on property alongside other forms of militant working class action. Targets included the embassies of repressive regimes, police stations and army barracks, boutiques and factories, government departments and the homes of Cabinet ministers, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. These attacks on the homes of senior political figures increased the pressure for results and brought an avalanche of police raids. From the start the police were faced with the difficulty of getting to grips with a section of society they found totally alien. And were they facing an organisation — or an idea? Gordon Carr's film explores covers the roots of the Angry Brigade in the revolutionary ferment of the 1960's and the anarchist First of May Group, and follows their campaign and the police investigation to its culmination in the 'Stoke Newington 8' conspiracy trial at the Old Bailey — the longest criminal trial in British legal history. It remains the essential study of Britain’s first urban guerrilla group.
Persons Unknown (1980 - Gordon Carr)
Documentary by Gordon Carr on the so-called 'Persons Unknown' case in December 1979 in which members of the Anarchist Black Cross were tried at the Old Bailey on a charge of 'conspiring with persons unknown, at places unknown to cause explosions'.
A concise look at the 'Persons Unknown' trial. A fascinating snapshot of history in the making, The Persons Unknown pieces together an intricate web of radicals at a thriller’s pace. Carr crisply relates the correspondences of a Black Cross secretary and imprisoned Irish republican and reaches all the way back to the Paris Commune to discuss the secretive, internationalist elements of radical leftist politics. Where mainstream media tends to become hysterical where anarchism is concerned, The Persons Unknown remains keenly factual throughout. Among those featured in the film are Stuart Christie, publisher of the "Black Flag" newsletter and former would-be Generalisimo Francisco Franco assassin, and the anarcho-punk group Crass.

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