Title

Anarcho-syndicalism and Fiction in Armand Guerra’s Flesh for Beasts (1936)

Subject Area

Film and Literary Studies

Abstract

On July 16th, 1936, a daring film started filming at the Parque del Retiro in Madrid. In a matter of hours, the Nationalistic uprising that ignited the Spanish Civil War became a reality. Armand Guerra’s Carne de fieras (Flesh for Beasts), which never opened in theatres until it was found by serendipity in 1992, not only is one of the most interesting examples of the Republican filmography, but it also provides today’s viewers with a privileged glimpse of anarcho-syndicalism in action. My talk explores the film underneath the veneer of frivolity and melodrama that the characters, plot and mise-en-scène seem to embody. I will examine to what extent the film—financed by the revolutionary CNT/FAI—adheres to or distances from anarcho-syndicalist ideology through a boxer in love, a French vedette, good hearted scoundrels, a few hungry lions and a city under siege.

Brief Bio Note

Pablo Martínez Diente (Valladolid, 1978) holds a B.A. in English from Universidad de Valladolid, a M.A. from West Virginia University and a Ph. D. from Vanderbilt University. He has taught at WVU, Vanderbilt, The University of Notre Dame and, currently, at Kansas State University, in addition to spending a year teaching in the trójmiasto area of Baltic Poland. His areas of interest include poetry, modernism and its reincarnations, translation, and film.

Keywords

Anarcho-syndicalism, Carne de Fieras, Spanish Civil War, Film, 1936, Armand Guerra

Location

Room 210

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-24-2017 2:45 PM

Embargo

11-4-2016

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Mar 24th, 2:45 PM

Anarcho-syndicalism and Fiction in Armand Guerra’s Flesh for Beasts (1936)

Room 210

On July 16th, 1936, a daring film started filming at the Parque del Retiro in Madrid. In a matter of hours, the Nationalistic uprising that ignited the Spanish Civil War became a reality. Armand Guerra’s Carne de fieras (Flesh for Beasts), which never opened in theatres until it was found by serendipity in 1992, not only is one of the most interesting examples of the Republican filmography, but it also provides today’s viewers with a privileged glimpse of anarcho-syndicalism in action. My talk explores the film underneath the veneer of frivolity and melodrama that the characters, plot and mise-en-scène seem to embody. I will examine to what extent the film—financed by the revolutionary CNT/FAI—adheres to or distances from anarcho-syndicalist ideology through a boxer in love, a French vedette, good hearted scoundrels, a few hungry lions and a city under siege.