Locally produced film highlighting rise, fall of Menas Commonwealth College to air on AETN Aug. 1
Opened in the 1920s in the most unlikely of places, Commonwealth College created uproar in the small rural community of Mena. Spawning reactionary backlash, the overt, left-wing politics of the socialist labor college ultimately alienated its enemies on the political right and its supporters on the political left.
Southern Utopia focuses on the dangers of the power and destructiveness of ideological extremism on both ends of the political spectrum in its examination of the collapse of this experimental school. The rise and fall of Commonwealth College has been said to reflect, in many respects, the war between progressive and conservative cultures that have existed in the U.S. since the Great Depression.