Walking through his former stomping grounds on the Lower East Side*, Ben Morea charts the evolution of Up Against the Wall/Motherfucker—the network of action-oriented radicals, freaks, and street fighters that emerged out of the group surrounding the journal Black Mask during the late ’60s in New York City.
*Located between the Bowery and the East River, the neighborhood traditionally extended from 14th Street down to the Brooklyn Bridge. Recent maps have shifted the northern boundary south to Houston Street, but for many residents the area known today as the East Village still belongs to the greater Lower East Side.
Find the documentary on Vimeo, on this link:
Ben Morea went looking for the Beatniks in the late 1950s, discovered the Living Theatre, and developed a taste for, and involvement in, art and anarchism. A painter, rabble-rouser, and troublemaker, he was the main instigator of the Black Mask group, The Family (popularly known as Up Against The Wall Motherf**ker, and no relation to the West Coast Manson “family”), and the Armed Love communal movement. By the end of the 60s, facing increased police attention, Ben Morea “disappeared” into the rural communal movement and anonymity. He continues to paint (and now blog), and galvanized by the current Imperial wars, has re-emerged to talk of the legacy and history of Black Mask and The Family, and their relevance to the struggles today (PM Press).