Fanarchy (2015)

fanarchyFans get a really bad rap these days and for good reason. The fan community was once derided and ostracized and is now doing the deriding and ostracizing toward anyone that tries to integrate themselves in to a fandom. That said, being a fan or a part of a fan community isn’t always bad, and “Fanarchy” is merely an ode to the fans. Most of all it’s a tribute to how much influence the fan community has had on pop culture at large and how they can use their love for characters and properties to help fuel their lives and inspire hope and strength. No one has been harder on fans than I have this year, but Donna Davies offers up a look at how fans can also do great things and inspire one another to reach for creativity and aspirations.

Davies spans the globe looking at various fans and fan communities that have achieved some remarkable feats. Some of them have become massive pop culture phenomenon, while Davies also sets the light on more personal and touching stories. Some of the more interesting stories involve the career of beloved geek goddess Brea Grant, who is most recognized for her work in shows like “Heroes” and has spent a lot of her acting career producing the kind of work she wants to. There’s also the inspiring story of one of the first fan films ever made for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” which drew the attention of Steven Spielberg. It also became such a fan favorite at festivals that it garnered its own book and is currently being developed in to a movie.

The most inspiring story though is the tale of Maya Glick whose rabid fandom for X-Men character Storm helped her push through some really tough times in her life and helped her grow as a person and find a form of personal victory. It’s also interesting to see how Ms. Glick has absolutely no love for Storm’s depiction in the “X-Men” movies which prompted her to make her own fan film, with a strong and fierce version of her favorite character. In the end “Fanarchy,” is a very breezy and entertaining ode to being fan boy or fan girl. Sure, the fan community has been very dark and volatile over the last few years, Donna Davies does a bang up job of showing how fandom can entertain, benefit pop culture, and benefit the fans personally.