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Ferrua, Pietro
Some Curiosities. I. The Voice of the Violin
A film by D.W. Griffith, USA, 1909.
Article published on 31 August 2003
last modification on 26 April 2015
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D. W. Griffith

B&W, silent, 11 mn.

SCREENWRITER & EDITOR: D.W. Griffith.

CAST: Linda ARVIDSON,

Clara T. BRACY,

Gladys EGAN,

Frank FOWELL,

Arthur V. JOHNSON,

Marion LEONARD,

David MILES,

George NICHOLS,

Mack SENNET.

An early silent, black and white "film d’auteur" by the great Griffith could be a rare pearl for a series of films depicting anarchists. That is what Joel Sucher and Steven Fischler must have thought, before us, inserting excerpts of "The Voice of the Violin" in their poignant documentary "The Free Voice of Labor. The Jewish Anarchists". (1980). It fitted their discourse on anarchist terrorism, a phenomena that Prof. Paul Avrich, the noted historian of anarchism, explains with tact and accuracy.

Griffith legends, in the film, mention "communists" not "anarchists" (and the only mimicked parameter concerns "equality" but no other aspect of the political theory of the conspirators) as the "culprits". For once that bomb throwing is NOT identified with the anarchists, why should we bother to assimilate, justify or reject it?

Anyway, more than a film it is a sketch, and despite an early appearance of Mack Sennet (soon to become famous in the cinema world) it shows a rather conventional treatment of an already light subject.


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