Friday, 1 May 2015

Anonymous: A Million Men

A note from Joelle... 
Anonymous: A Million Men
source
I was fortunate enough to attend a press screening of a short film-documentary about Anonymous. 
Even if you do not recognise the name of this organisation, you may be more familiar with their support of the Occupy Movement or even their use of contemporary Guy Fawkes masks.
To be honest, before watching the film, I knew very little about Anonymous and what they stood for. Without even taking the time to research, I believed them to be an Anarchist faction with no leader, eager to protest/destroy anything the political elites did - even hacking/leaking files.
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There is no denying that Anonymous is an anti-Government, anti-establishment group, that stages large protests, but there is more to it than than.
 This film goes the extra mile in shining a light on Anonymous and what its members really want. 
Instead of just reporting about the organisation from a distance, Ireland and his team meet members - some masked, some unmasked. Male members, female members - there is no "defining look" of an Anonymous member.
It is rather fast-paced for a film, but then again, it's about 29 minutes long, so I wouldn't expect anything less. 

It also features interviews from the Million Mask March organisers, Chloe Smith, Conservative MP (who looked like she was still recovering from that Newsnight interview) and comedian/revolution-supporter, Russell Brand. 
What's interesting is that without even seeing the trailer or the film, I knew he'd make an appearance. His comments on the current political UK system were very interesting. 
It could have been easy to put Brand at the centre of this film as he is a celebrity - an influencer with eloquence and charm. But I am glad the Anonymous members have more screen-time. After all, these are the ordinary people who lost faith in today's political system, but still want their views heard through alternative means.

The film leads us to the Million Mask March in London, which happened on the 5th November 2014 (no other date would have been acceptable, right?). It was a global protest with thousand of people taking part in 481 cities across the globe, but London was one of the largest.
There, we see people taking to the streets en masse. We see chants, solidarity, anger and celebration.

The film was great - a real eye-opener without being too dramatic and tense. There was no scaremongering, harrowing images or OTT music - just the facts and the people behind the Movement.
I wish it was longer, but in it's short duration, it really took the audience on a journey from ignorance to a better understanding of Anonymous.
Anonymous want an end to issues like austerity, mass surveillance, corruptions and war crimes. These are things that most of the nation are unaware of, which is pretty scary.

To me, Anonymous is no longer a random group of protesters. It's a legit political movement that is gaining momentum. 
They will always be around, fighting on the ground (mainly peacefully) in anyway they can to get their point across: the top 1% cannot get away with their unfair practises and corruption anymore. 
Anonymous may be cybercriminals and "loonies" to some, but they are digital Robin Hoods "heroes" and to others. It doesn't really matter what we call them, because it won't stop them existing, marching and rising.
 They are publicly anonymous. They are the 99%.

View the trailer below:
Directed by: Patrick Ireland
Written by: Patrick Ireland and Matteo Bergamini
Produced by: Matteo Bergamini

Congrats to the Shout Out UK team on their wonderful film.
Shout Out UK
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