Marvelous Movie Mondays: No More Leadershit

EPFC | April 1st, 2019

guest curator: Alex Johnston

The theme for this month: “SAYS WHO?”: MEDIA AND AUTHORITY

How does authority inhere in media? How is it maintained and how is it expressed? Who has the authority to define the past? Who has the authority to determine the future? Who has the authority to speak for whom? Who has the authority to lead? Who has the authority to bury the dead?

Says who?

The films I have chosen for this month all grapple in some way with these questions of authority, either within the film text itself, or in society, culture, and history-at large. First up in the series is a wonderful little essay film from 1971, Nick Macdonald’s meditation on anarchism in practice, “No More Leadershit.”

Macdonald is a New York-based writer, filmmaker, and avowed anarchist, who in the 1970s made a cycle of radical, essayistic experimental documentaries.

“No More Leadershit” is a diminutive and playful work, combining stop motion animation and live action in a simple structural conceit. Accompanied by the sounds of his children playing, Macdonald (in voiceover) grapples with the inherent inequality of political leadership, and advocates for a world in which there are no more leaders . . . on the Right or the Left. (Particularly amusing is his reluctant renunciation of iconic liberatory figures such as Malcolm X and Abbie Hoffman.) In our contemporary historical moment, when populist demagoguery is seemingly in vogue around the world, the film’s core message is troublingly resonant.

Enjoy “No More Leadershit”!