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Film To End Your Week

'Air Bud,' dir. Charles Martin Smith

The anarcho-communist film you never knew you needed

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It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 22 years since Disney’s classic “Air Bud” was released. Thousands of us grew up rooting for Josh and his faithful comrade, Buddy the golden retriever, as they paired up to make one of the best basketball teams in Washington State fictional history.

The inspirational message of “Air Bud” is that no matter your social status or life circumstances, you can always overcome obstacles through collaboration. Though Buddy must reckon with his haunting past (and being an atypical species to play basketball), and Josh must deal with the woes of navigating middle school in the wake of his father’s death, together they’re an unstoppable force on Fernfield Junior High’s basketball team.

This lesson can motivate us not only in our personal lives, but in society; “Air Bud” is the anarcho-communist film our generation needs.

Just as respecting the status quo is disadvantageous for Josh and Buddy, what point is there in respecting our government structure if its gives us rampant wealth inequality and corruption? We’d undeniably all win if society were governed directly by the people rather than by the few lucky enough to make it to the top.

Furthermore, there’s the film’s structure itself — or rather, the lack thereof.

“Air Bud” unapologetically abandons the creatively stifling traditional three-act story structure with a plethora of side plots as opposed to one main plot. From a clown kidnapping Buddy to an abusive coach to an emotional custody case, we’re given a diverse range of stories beautifully interwoven into a 98-minute sequence.

This symbolizes how although we must destroy capitalism, we must also be sure to replace it with an anarcho-communist society ruled by the people not a totalitarian system ruled by a despot. To quote the great anarchist Errico Malatesta, “Communism made through the will of a government instead of through the direct and voluntary work of groups of workers… would be the most suffocating tyranny to which human society has ever been subjected.”

“Air Bud” sets the perfect model for how we must collaboratively overthrow capitalism while retaining our individuality. So this weekend, grab yourself a blanket and prepare to be inspired by one of the greatest anarcho-communist films ever made.

Reach writer Natalie Rand at arts@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @n_rand_

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