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At this point, the recipe for platform documentation is quite clear. It brings together a cast of characters ranging from the eccentric to the insane (with at least one or two who instinctively evoke audience sympathy), an odd place, a shared belief or mission, and some sort of criminal element, be it a Murder or a Massive Swindle. . And hopefully you’ll get content that will hold your interest for six chapters of just under an hour each. anarchistson HBO Max, it does not deviate from the formula and yet its statement is surprising enough to appear new. The series is a Fyre Festival of sorts, but with Ayn Rand readers and people who knew what cryptocurrencies were in 2015.

That year, Todd Schramke, a documentary filmmaker then working as an event cameraman and driver for Lyft, noticed on Facebook that many of his acquaintances were close circles cap (anarcho-capitalists, people who believe in dismantling the state so that capitalism can grow unchecked), whom he had met as a teenager at punk rock concerts, left for Acapulco, the Mexican coastal city now known for its high crime rate – it was a victim of the wars between drug cartels – as for the Elvis movies that were filmed there in the 1960s. Many would attend a strange event, a congress of libertarian anarchists called Anarchapulco, headed by a boastful Canadian millionaire named Jeff Berwick, and many stayed to live. Something told him there was a story.

“In the end, I’m a dedicated filmmaker with a general fascination with subcultures and philosophy. What drew my attention from the community that emerges in the series and made me want to tell the story wasn’t so much Berwick or the ideology itself, but the assemblage of personalities and their raw passion that made me think that there was a documentary to shoot . with this story,” explains Schramke via email. Both he and his partner, producer/composer Kym Kylland, appear on camera throughout the series, but unlike other documentaries in this genre, we don’t see them reacting in disbelief to some of the things they do and to say anarcho-capitalists (e.g., burning books over a campfire surrounded by kids yelling “fuck the state,” as seen in the opening scene), but instead maintain their position as neutral observers. “It seemed to me that this was a cleaner, more honest way of telling the story,” the director says of the decision. “But we’ve always kept my narrative as a last resort and relied more on the voices of the protagonists.”

Lisa Freeman, one of the protagonists of The Anarchists. HBO
Lily Forester, one of the key characters in The Anarchists.
Lily Forester, one of the key characters in The Anarchists. HBO

And what protagonists. Anarcopulco has no shortage of colorful characters. Along with Berwick himself, who gives his interviews from a glass-walled mansion, there are the Freemans, Nathan and Lisa, a software designer (at a company whose name might already ring alarm bells, Red Pills Now) and a science professor. Atlanta with two young children outside of school (the unschooling“untrained”, differs from home lessons, teach at home; the Freemans say they’d rather put their kids in a porn movie than in a public school). They all decided around 2015 to quit their jobs and home in the Atlanta suburbs, sell everything and go to Acapulco to join the community. anarcho-capitalist.

The couple soon took over the organization Anarchapulco. They moved the event from a rather run-down room to a hotel with a swimming pool and turned it into a hybrid TED Talks conference (except that the talks were on topics like Bitcoin or the need to stop paying taxes) and programs from Girls have gone wild which aired on MTV in the early 2000s, featuring thousands of drunk white college kids dancing to EDM on Cancun beaches during their spring break.

Soon in the series, it becomes clear who the Freemans’ natural enemies will be. “I was attracted to the idea that class conflicts are inevitable even in the smallest niche movement, in which everyone involved is supposed to share the same ideology,” Schramke sums up. Another white couple, John Galton and Lily Forester, has a very different understanding of anarcho-capitalism. They also come to Acapulco from the US, but not by crossing the border in a car loaded with beachwear and surfboards like the Freemans did, but by sneaking through Tijuana at night to evade controls, since back then, in 2017, the police were looking they and they faced 25 years in prison in the United States for illegal drug possession.

HBO
Panoramic view of Acapulco.
Panoramic view of Acapulco. HBO

What comes next is in a way a spoiler, when someone faces the series without looking for information about Acapulco’s libertarian community. Two years after arriving in town after settling on the hill – two owners of a local coffee shop, one of the few Mexicans appearing in the documentary, tried to warn them not to live in what was considered a dangerous area – and by the time Galton and Forester they had already split from Anarcopulco and formed their own anarchist congress, with a less consumerist bias, Galton was shot dead at his home on the hill.. The case gained some notoriety in the American press because it exposed this whole community of bookburners abroad. It is believed that it was local drug dealers who murdered Galton because he was growing marijuana at his home as a warning not to interfere with town affairs. His girlfriend, one of the show’s most compelling witnesses, with her Shelley Duvall-like looks and Daria-like voice, framed Paul Pport for the murder, one of the most shady characters in the entire gang, an ex-military and unofficial drug dealer to the conference attendees . Whether he had anything to do with the case will never be certain, as Propert committed suicide in 2019.

Although the character of Donald Trump isn’t mentioned often in the series, the Trumpism It’s the clear context of this whole saga. Many of the ancaps that they paid more than $500 to attend the convention at the hotel (plus another $500 to access the “investor conference” or about $250 for a package Experiences with illegal substances) finally joined this movement. In fact, Anarchapulco has had guests like Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox network regular, and both the anti-vaccine movement and Qanon, the conspiracy theory that messed up the last election and led to the January 6, 2021 capitol capture their roots in that fusion of libertarian-paranoid beliefs about the evils of the state that would have infuriated Bakunin, even though he called himself an anarchist.

One of the “anarcho-capitalists” conferences that the documentary focuses on. HBO

For years, Schramke and Kylland stood there with their cameras, trying not to intervene, trying to find the alchemy between “empathy and skepticism,” according to the director. “We did our best to be curious and open-minded with all participants, and they with us in general. My goal was to draw a character study of this community and see their development as events unfolded. And that made us see them in their most vulnerable moments, which was really draining for me at times.” He says he trusts HBO audiences to differentiate between all the ideas that are slipping and that the anarcho -Capitalists of Acapulco were essentially a peaceful group opposed to voting and taxes.

Nathan Freeman, the software designer who went to Acapulco with his family and took over the reins of Congress, died of colon cancer last year. His widow Lisa still lives in the country with their three children (the third, Ira Belle, was born in Mexico) and works as a nutritionist and personal trainer. Berwick no longer lives in Acapulco but in Mexico City and has given up his party lifestyle (“I’ve been to a hundred countries at a party, for five years I’ve slept with every girl at every party,” he says in the documentary). Avoid alcohol, sugar and caffeine. He has a podcast called anarchist and several paid content platforms, where he continues to promote cryptocurrencies and rail against his two enemies: the state and central banks.

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Source elpais.com

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