“The Anarchists” is HBO’s chaotic examination of an attempted crypto-bro utopia in Acapulco.
Rich people ruin everything. Especially rebellion. None of us needs HBO’s “The Anarchists” to deliver that revelation; we’re living the truth of that. In that respect, Todd Schramke’s documentary series should feel timely.
For those seeking an understanding of the anarchist movement, which requires ignoring the definition espoused by Fox News, Schramke’s examination provides clarity without necessarily landing on a single crystallized answer. But if you’re looking for a tingly stranger-than-fiction-TV bump, beware. Jumping into this story is akin to snorting a rail only to discover too late that your fun has been cut with itching powder. And once that stuff settles into your membranes, boy howdy is it impossible to rinse out.
“The Anarchists” looks like perfect feel-weird documentary obsession material, grant you. It may not be expressly about a crazy cult or an extraordinary fraudster, but you’ll recognize shades of each in Jeff Berwick. Granted, Berwick lacks the dangerous forcefulness of, say, a Ma Anand Sheela, and he’s not even close to qualifying as a con artist on par with Fyre Festival CEO Billy McFarland.
What Berwick offered was real: a bootstrapped gathering that quickly exploded into a destination for wealthy counterculture tourists dabbling in cryptocurrency, including members of the Wu-Tang Clan and former congressman Ron Paul.