2014, 44’

The Anarchist Rabbi is about Rudolf Rocker and the forgotten history of Yiddish East End anarchism at the turn of the last century. An essayistic film it explores the politics of urban space and how urban development destroys collective memory.

Although not Jewish, Rocker, a prominent German anarcho-syndicalist, lived in London's East End, campaigning with migrant Jews against the sweatshop system and learning Yiddish when invited to edit the famous Arbeter Fraint, the international anarchist newspaper. As an enemy alien he was imprisoned during World War 1 and deported in 1918.

Rocker presents himself as a wandering ghost, returning to explore the places (London, Liverpool and Leeds) that were significant for turn of the 20th century anarchism. From the perspective of the forgotten history of anarchism the film references Derrida’s concept of the spectre of Marx and the retrieval of an emancipatory discourse.