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The Land

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(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 bowl, the indigent farmers, the extreme poverty of a family living & reproducing in a shack and the mass migration to California where so few would find work. The upbeat ending, where wonderful threshing machines swiftly harvest the land, has the irony that still more labourers would be out of work. The only pity is that Flaherty, at heart a silent film director, wouldn’t let his subjects speak

Director: Robert J. Flaherty; Writers: Frances H. Flaherty (collaborating writer), Robert J. Flaherty; Stars: Robert J. Flaherty

One comment on “The Land

  1. Gerald Podraza

    Who is the composer of the musical score?

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New Deal Maps

Check out our latest map and guide to the work of the New Deal in Washington, D.C. It includes 500 New Deal sites in the District alone, highlighting 34 notable sites, and includes an inset map of the area around the National Mall which can be used for self-guided walking tours.

Take a look at our previous guides, equally comprehensive, covering key New Deal sites in San Francisco and New York City.

New Deal Maps

Check out our latest map and guide to the work of the New Deal in Washington, D.C. It includes 500 New Deal sites in the District alone, highlighting 34 notable sites, and includes an inset map of the area around the National Mall which can be used for self-guided walking tours.

Take a look at our previous guides, equally comprehensive, covering key New Deal sites in San Francisco and New York City.