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The Columbia River

(21:11) b/w, sound
Congress had passed the Bonneville Project Act in 1937 to distribute the electricity generated at Bonneville and Grand Coulee dams on the Columbia River.  The law said publicly-created utilities had preference, or first choice, on that power; investor-owned utilities could buy any surplus. The law also provided a block of power to new heavy industries that bolstered the region’s contributions during World War II.  A new power agenc...

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The Land

(41:26), b/w, sound
Documentary showing the poor state that American agriculture had fallen into during the Great Depression. Flaherty made this documentary about the dire consequences of 100 years of over-production of cotton just as the USA was entering World War2, & it wasn’t shown then, because it might give the enemy a propaganda advantage. In fact the musical score, which fills the entire 45 minutes of the film is as striking as the poetic imagery of the dust ...

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The Road Is Open Again 7 Mins

(7:22) b/w, sound
A Songwriter falls asleep while writing a song about the NRA. He dreams that Washington, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt appear in his room asking him why he wants to write such a song and they’re reassuring him that FDR is the right way. When he starts singing his new song, he finds himself alone, but he knows that the FDR will lead the USA back on the road to prosperity.

The Road Is Open Again containing a song of the same nam...

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Berkeley Gray Panthers

(1:07:29) b/w, sound
Assortment of New Deal film shorts put together by the Berkeley Gray Panthers for a mini-New Deal Film Festival. This particular sequence is called “Putting America to Work”

FDR Inauguration
WPA: Works Pays America
Shock Troops of Disaster
The Valley of the Tennessee
Boulder Dam
Jimmy Durante on the NRA

Rural Electrification

(29:51) b/w, sound
RURAL ELECTRIFICATION IN OHIO features three films commissioned by Rural Electrification Administration for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and created by legendary filmmakers Pare Lorentz and Joris Ivens. The landmark 1940 documentary Power and the Land tells the story of the Parkinson family, farmers in rural Ohio who electrified their farm with the help of a

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The City

(31:30), bw, sound
Visionary documentary that contrasts the conditions of life in small towns and in the industrialized cities, starting with a brief portrait of pre-industrial United States, then moving into the modern chaotic, industrial and commercial city to reflect on the effects of this environment on family life and the raising of children, and finally proposing a return to a simpler life, in an idyllic “new city” in Maryland, constructed as a New Deal proj...

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La Villita

(30:25) color, silent
Unedited footage showing NYA restoration of this small Spanish settlement in San Antonio, Texas. Reel 1, NYA girls make Spanish poster decorations which are put up for the Christmas fiesta. Reel 2, San Antonio mayor Maury Maverick watches NYA boys excavating, leveling ground, and laying brick wall. Shows parts of the restored Alamo and the San Jose Mission. Reel 3, Apache Indians present a Matachina dance at the Christmas fiesta, stone is moved and chi...

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Jobs Not Handouts

(15:51) color, silent (should be sound)
The NYA trains youths for jobs. Describes modern industrial and agricultural machines (hay balers, threshers, reapers, etc.) which displace manpower. Unemployed youths loiter in hobo gangs. Boys receive training in the use of machine tools, carpentry, and auto mechanics at an NYA center. Girls are trained to cook and make dresses and to become beauticians (manicuring nails, setting hair, and applying facials).