Emma Goldman: An Exceedingly Dangerous Woman

Synopsis:
Year:
2004
15 Views

On a cold December morning in 1919

just after 4:
00 am

Emma Goldman,

her companion Alexander Berkman

and more than two hundred

other foreign-born radicals

were roused from their

Ellis Island dormitory beds

and more than two hundred

other foreign-born radicals

were roused from their

Ellis Island dormitory beds

In the freezing darkness

the deportees began

a journey into exile

Thrown out of the United States

for her opposition to the First World War

and especially for her political beliefs

Goldman claimed she was proud to be

selected for the honor of deportation

Privately,

she was devastated.

One does not live in a

country thirty-four years

and find

it easy to go

I found my spiritual birth here

All I know, I have gained here

Through the port-hole

I could see the great city

receding into the distance

It was my beloved city

the metropolis of the New World

For nearly thirty years,

Goldman taunted mainstream America

with her outspoken attacks on government

big business and war

oldman condemned capitalism,

denounced marriage,

and crusaded for birth control.

The newspapers called her

a "modern Joan of Arc"

A heretic

A woman possessed of an

uncompromising single-mindedness

Personally she could be obnoxious

OZ FRANKEL, Historian

She could be ruthless

She could be vindictive

A plain Russian Jewish girl

ANDREI CODRESCU, Poet

But with some magnetism.

ANDREI CODRESCU, Poet

I think she was a serious political theorist who

ROBERT ROSENSTONE, Historian

actually thought through an anarchist movement, you could

create this kind of self-governing world..

henever the state became too powerful,

BARRY PATEMAN, Historian

when it became too

intrusive in people's life

when it became too cruel

Emma's voice was there..

Anarchism was often associated

with violence and terrorism,

and that's the image that people have today

ALICE WEXLER, Biographer

I think her whole life was operatic

MARTIN DUBERMAN, Playwright

Meaning flamboyantly larger than life

Goldman's story is one

of passionate defiance

The story of a life dedicated

to free speech

free thought

free love

The story of an exceedingly

dangerous woman

I think she was a

AL ORENSANZ, Sociologist

difficult person

maybe a dangerous woman

to everybody..

she was totally

unacceptable

Dezembro de 1885

Emma Goldman crossed three seas

to reach the promised land

In 1885, the feisty

sixteen-year-old Russian girl

had just escaped

an arranged marriage

by threatening to drown herself

in the Neva River

America, she hoped

would be her salvation.

the land of hope,

the land of opportunity

a land of infinite possibility

When you come

into this country

all things are possible for you

All things are possible

You can forget the past

you can have a brave new world..

and for a radical revolutionary

like Emma Goldman

the volatility of this country

seemed like a

great opportunity for

creating a genuinely new world

for creating whatever was

going to come after capitalism

And I think that she entered

this world as did many

politicized people, political radicals

coming here feeling that this was the place

where the revolution could be born.

It was the 15th of August

the day of my arrival in New York City

All that had happened in my life

until that time

was now left behind me

cast off

like a worn-out garment

Cast off was a miserable

childhood in St. Petersburg

where she lived under the

tyranny of a Czarist regime

and under the thumb of a father

anxious to rid himself of his

unwanted rebellious daughter

She had also just walked away

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