What If We Tried Anarchy? HBO's The Anarchists Explores.

"There really is no panacea, either technological like cryptocurrency or philosophical like anarchism," says director Todd Schramke.


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What happens when a bunch of radical individualists try to start a community?

That's the subject of The Anarchists, a new six-part docuseries from director Todd Schramke and his wife and co-producer Kim Kylland that's now available to stream in full on HBO Max.

The pair spent six years documenting Anarchapulco, an annual conference for anarchists started in Mexico by Jeff Berwick, a political commentator who calls himself the Dollar Vigilante.

The series took a dark turn when, mid-production, Schramke found out about the murder of one of his subjects, a man who called himself John Galton. And then rumors started that other members of the anarchist community may have been involved.

"It really was one of the most emotionally complicated few weeks of my life," says Schramke. "It was just this really, really intense feeling of knowing this was going to change my life in so many ways."

Reason's Zach Weissmueller talked with Schramke about how making the film has shaped his view of anarchism and libertarianism and what the story of Anarchapulco can teach us about the challenges of launching new experiments in alternative living.

"The biggest thing I took away was realizing that regardless of what ideologies we hold, what belief systems we ascribe to, no matter what we have to be looking inward as people and figuring out how to deal with our own mental health, dealing with our own relationships before we can have an improved society," says Schramke.

Watch the full interview above.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller; edited by Danielle Thompson and Weissmueller; additional footage courtesy of HBO Max. 

Music: "Corner of the Eyes" by Amulets via Artlist; "Dark Matter" by Notize via Artlist.