If...

The boys of College House return for Winter Term, among them, the three rebels, Mick Travers, Johnny and Wallace. The three, considered a bad influence, are whipped by Rowntree, the head of house. After bayoneting the chaplain during the school’s Cadet Corps field exercises, the three boys are ordered to clear lumber from under the auditorium stage. There they discover a stack of forgotten weapons At the annual Speech Day, Mick leads his comrades in an attack, with tear gas and bullets, on authority. The headmaster is shot down, while the guest of honour, General Denson, leads a counterattack. If…, proved the one indisputable commercial success of Anderson’s fitful screen career. Filmed at his old school, Cheltenham, which was not made privy to the full nature of its iconoclasm, If… struck a very resonant chord in the year of student uprisings in several continents. The film railed against the debilitating class system which was Anderson’s recurring bête noire, and, winding its exhilarating way between black-and-white and colour sequences, it exposed hyprocisy in school, church and the military. The film is, as Lindsay Anderson has noted, deeply anarchistic, but also for a good half of its length a faithful picture of English public-school life –in parts apparently autobiographical- for all its exclusive emphasis on the negative aspects of such institutions. It depicts “fagging” (the term employed to describe younger boys’ acting as servants for the older ones), homosexuality, and corporal punishment performed by both masters and senior pupils. The film's greatness lies in its surreal take on these events. As the schoolyard revolution slowly kicks into gear, the film itself begins to disintegrate. The photography switches restlessly between colour and sepia, and the narrative becomes increasingly elliptical as reality and fantasy merge.
England
'
1968


Script
David Sherwin (Sherwin ve John Howlett’in “Crusaders” adlı özgün senaryosundan)

Cinematography
Miroslav Ondříček

Editing
David Gladwell

Production
Memorial Enterprises

Cast
Christine Noonan
David Wood
Malcolm McDowell
Richard Warwick

Music
Marc Wilkinson

Awards
Golden Palm Cannes

Festivals
11th Festival on Wheels
CINEMA AND Anarchism