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CQAF presents CRASS: The Sound Of Free Speech

Mon 06th May

Dir. Brandon Spivey | UK | 2023 | 90 mins

Celebratory, shocking and raw, this film is as close to the story of the anarcho-punk band as you’re going to get…

Crass formed in Essex in 1977, and disbanded all too soon in 1984. Their work promoted grass roots activism and a movement of resistance that awakened and appealed to many, inspiring a multitude of bands and artists along the way.

In “The Sound of Free Speech”, director and artist Brandon Sivey revisits the controversies and outrage that surrounded one of the band’s earliest musical and political statements: Reality Asylum. Made with the blessing of Crass members, the film dives into 1970s Britain; the birth of punk and the formation of Crass, with an in-depth look at their art, music, politics and ethos, plus its impact on those who were trying to make sense of a brutal hostile society they had no place in.

Spivey also tells a broader story, expanding on the narrative of anarchism and a broken system. Through open-hearted interviews he touches upon subjects such as assault carried out by the church, Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, the biggest war that threatens humanity; class war, and of course what it was like to be a punk band in the 70s and the 80s.