Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Into the Fire|
Actors: Martha Gellhorn, Celia Greenspan, Evelyn Hutchins, Salaria Kea
Director: Julia Newman
Spain, 1936: right-wing military officers led by General Francisco Franco attempt to overthrow the newly elected, democratic government. Both Hitler and Mussolini quickly lend support to the uprising. In response, nearly e... more »
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Women Against Fascism
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 02/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary speaks about American women who volunteered to fight against fascists in Spain. On a happy note, all the 80 women who went survived.
The work is a blend of interviews and selections from writings. I don't know if all the writings were letters, but this work had an epistolary style like Walker's "The Color Purple." This work showed living women and demonstrates how these brave young fighters became respectable old ladies. The speeches were probably from dead women and I'm sure the living women who spoke them must have been honored to do it. If you are impressed by Eleanor Roosevelt, and who isn't, then you will love her more after seeing this. Some viewers may not like this epistolary style and might prefer straight forward narration instead.
This work said that many nationalities came to fight in Spain, not just Americans. I am sure that documentary makers in other countries could create counterparts to this work. The documentary emphasizes that Spain was very much a precursor or omen for World War II. For younger audiences, the tragedies of Darfur may seem similar to the 1930s Spain presented here. One Black fighter compared the situation in Spain to the racism in the US. Many of the women interviewed seemed to be of a certain religion, but they are never seen saying they fought in Spain to fight the oppression that their religious peers faced in Europe.
The work interviews one African-American woman who fought. The work does not limit itself to gender. There are numerous photographs and some talk of the African-American men involved in this effort. They show a photo of Paul Robeson but never mention him by name. Robin D.G. Kelly has a wonderful chapter about the Black men who fought in Spain in his "Race Rebels" book. I think a progressive history major could write a fabulous paper comparing that chapter to this documentary."