Saw the new Sherlock Holmes (Game of Shadows) flick over the holidays. Really enjoyed it. A bit more action oriented than the books and stories but the movie successfully retained the vibe of Arthur Conan Doyle's world. My European History classes are beginning the second semester talking about this period (1870-1914) in Europe and I was glad to see mention of the anarchists. It's a nice reference point for the students who saw the movie.
I see very interesting parallels in this era of European Mass Politics and the protest movements of 2011. TIME magazine named "The Protester" as person of the year. 2011 will be remembered for protest movements throughout the world. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy Wall Street movement people who felt marginalized by the institutions of governments and economic systems rallied to affect change or at the very least have their voices heard.
This phenomenon bears eerie resemblence to the movements that arose in the late nineteenth century. Feminism, Anarchism, Zionism, Socialism and a host of movements became prominent challengers to the status quo in Europe. Each group experienced varying degrees of success in reaching their goals. All had in common the belief that they were marginalized and excluded from the decision making processes of society. Some of these movements failed miserably. Others were the catalyst for enormous change (i.e. women's suffrage).
Check out the movie. Good stuff.