1931-1940DocumentaryJoris IvensUSAWar

Joris Ivens – The Spanish Earth (1937)

Plot/Description: from IMDB
This documentary tells of the struggles during the Spanish Civil War. It deals with the war at different levels: from the political level, at the ground military level focusing on battles in Madrid and the road from Madrid to Valencia, and at the support level. With the latter, a key project was building an irrigation system for an agricultural field near Fuentedueña so that food could be grown to feed the soldiers.

Overview/Summary: from WIKI
The Spanish Earth (1937) was a propaganda film made during the Spanish Civil War in favor of the democratically elected Republicans (communists, socialists and anarchists, but notably also centrist and liberalist elements). It was directed by Joris Ivens and was narrated by John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway, with music composed by Marc Blitzstein.

Full Synopsis: from TCM
Following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July of 1936, both Madrid and Fuentadueña fall under the attack of General Francisco Franco’s anti-government forces. Scenes of the horrors of the war in Madrid are interspersed with scenes from behind the lines that show the Spanish people working in support of the Loyalist troops.

The film begins with an examination of how water is brought to a parched area of land so that food can be raised for the defenders of Madrid. In Fuentadueña, a village with a population of 1,500, Spaniards are seen working the land for the common good–producing wine and onions and enough bread to supply Madrid. A scene showing men going into battle twenty-five miles from Fuentadueña is followed by the sounds of shelling and the blasting of music through a loudspeaker into enemy trenches.

At the front line, on the outskirts of Madrid, Franco takes University City. Next, a soldier is seen writing a letter to his family. Troops assemble at a celebration to honor the unification of all the militia regiments into the new brigades of the People’s army. At the assembly, Carlo, a first commander of a Loyalist regiment, gives a speech pertaining to the fight for democracy.

His speech precedes one given by Jose Diaz, a member of the Spanish parliament and a former pipe layer. Following a loudspeaker broadcast to the enemy, urging them to surrender to the Loyalist forces, the focus of the film returns to Madrid, where the residents of the city are seen building reinforcements to better fortify the city against attack.

Civilians are seen waiting in lines for food, which they are often unable to bring home because they come under enemy shelling. When a bookkeeper is killed by enemy fire, he is put in a coffin and taken away. As the situation in Madrid becomes more desperate, the government urges all civilians to evacuate the city.

Speaking on the war, the president of Spain rails against the fascist forces who are trying to take away the Spanish land. Scenes of the destruction of Madrid are accompanied by a description of the dead soldiers found killed by German-built war planes. The film concludes with an examination of the successful routing of the rebel army on the road from Madrid to Valencia, a strategically critical passage, by the Loyalist forces.

#1: English 1.0ch AC-3 @ 96.0 kb/s (Orson Welles Narration)
#2: English 1.0ch AC-3 @ 96.0 kb/s (Ernest Hemingway Narration)

841MB | 55m 35s | 720×480 | mkv




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