Seomra Spraoi

Dublin's Autonomous Social Centre

An Anarchist’s Story Film screening 7.30pm

Seomra Spraoi / Friday 6th March / 7:30pm–11:30pm

Screening 8:30pm sharp / Event ends 12am
Entry by suggested donation €3

An Anarchist’s Story

During ten months in 1936 and 1937 some 3 million men, women and children were involved in one of the most radical revolutions in world history.

In the countryside surrounding Barcelona peasants formed communes on land confiscated from old ruling elite. Workers took over the factories. Police were replaced with civilian self-defence forces.

In Catalonia three-quarters of the economy was under anarchists self managed and democratic control. Hotels, shops, barber shops and restaurants were collectivised and managed by their workers, often making them more efficient. In some communes money was entirely eliminated and replaced with vouchers and bartering schemes.

It was this setting that saw Ethel MacDonald play her part in the greatest ideological struggle of modern times

This drama-documentary tells the story of Ethel MacDonald. A forgotten legend, her story ranks alongside the courage of ‘La Pasionaria’ and the legendary ‘Odette’. Whilst both these women sustained world-wide recognition, our Scots heroine dwindled into obscurity and remains forgotten to this day.

Ethel MacDonald was born in Bellshill, West of Scotland, in 1910 the free-spirited daughter of a large working class family – but from such humble beginnings often come extraordinary stories.

At the time of our story Ethel is 27 years old. She is determined – almost to the point of obsession. She is confident of her values and her abilities and is completely fearless. As an Anarchist she is politically aware and has a burning desire for social justice.

Ethel was dark-haired, small of stature, and mesmerising company. She was a classic Scottish auto-didact – everything she has learned has taken will-power, study and patience.

She is a mercurial character – fast-talking, quick-witted, a workaholic. But she is also a constant friend. In ‘An Anarchist’s Story’ – through her own words and via our reconstructions – one characteristic more than any other shines through: her deep, undying passion.

Ethel’s own intimate recollections are presented through a definitive mix of documentary and drama, re-visiting the Killing Fields that were the Spanish Civil War. Supporting commentary spoken by David Hayman paired with expert interviews, including Noam Chomsky, provides background knowledge of 1930’s European Politics and a further insight into the young Scot’s motives, actions and social situation.

The film links her own personal drama to specific archive footage of Barcelona in disarray — an image Ethel MacDonald came to know so well.


Hosted by the Workers Solidarity Movement,

Those travelling from afar for the bookfair, and are looking for accomodation, WSM will try to arrange this on the night as well. Please be aware that accomodation can not be guaranteed. If you can offer a bed or floor space for those travelling to the book fair, please offer on the night at the WSM stall.