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The Right to Play OneselfLooking Back on Documentary Film$
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Thomas Waugh

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816645862

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816645862.001.0001

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Bread, Water, Blood, Rifles, Planes

Bread, Water, Blood, Rifles, Planes

Documentary Imagery of theSpanish Civil War from the NorthAmerican Popular Front (1990)

(p.57) 3 Bread, Water, Blood, Rifles, Planes
The Right to Play Oneself

Thomas Waugh

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter reflects on two documentary films released during the Spanish Civil War, The Spanish Earth by Joris Ivens and Heart of Spain by Herbert Kline. These two films were fashioned both as an artistic testimony and political support for a struggle toward which the official U.S. neutrality was morally and politically unacceptable. They were shaped by complementary strategic goals and topical emphases within the general vocation of solidarity with the Spanish Republican cause. The chapter examines the imagery of the two films and the sources of that imagery in the cultural and political currents during that period. It concludes by considering the centrality of these images of Spain in the political and cultural consciousness of the American Popular Front, at a pivotal moment in cultural and political history.

Keywords:   documentary films, Spanish Civil War, The Spanish Earth, Heart of Spain, American Popular Front, Loyalist, artistic testimony, Spanish Republican, Joris Ivens, Herbert Kline

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