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// Films // Heart of Spain

Heart of Spain

Herbert Kline & Charles Korvin / United States / 1937 / 30 ' / English


Paul Strand & Leo Hurwitz
Herbert Kline & Ben Maddow
Herbert Kline [nid:3745] & Charles Korvin [nid:3746]

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Pioneering solidarity doc in defense of besieged Madrid with a rare frontline portrait of Dr. Norman Bethune.


Heart of Spain, made by a collective of left filmmakers in New York City after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, helped invent the solidarity film on the eve of World War II. Seventy-five years later, its power to move holds up as we witness the Montrealer Dr. Norman Bethune taking his innovative mobile blood transfusion clinic to the frontline and the graves of “unknown” Canadians who died defending Madrid against Spanish, German and Italian fascists. This rare archival film was “offered by the American Popular Front to the Loyalist effort and fashioned both as artistic testimony and political support for a struggle towards which the official U.S. neutrality was morally and politically unacceptable… It focused on the pragmatic goals of medical relief and recruitment for the International Brigades… at a turning point in the cultural and political history of our century.” (Thomas Waugh, The Right to Play Oneself: Looking Back on Documentary Film, 2011)


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