Spanish Earth, The

2293. THE SPANISH EARTH (1937-USA). Directed by JORIS IVENS. Commenlary written and spoken by ERNEST HEMINGWAY. Music by MARK BLITZSTEIN, arranged by VIRGIL THOMSON. An outstanding all-time classic chronicle of men working and fighting for the common good in wartorn Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The spotlight is on the small village of Fuenteduena. Here the 1,500 townspeople have instituted a strategy for irrigating the dry and hard earth that had just been appropriated from feudal landowners. They hope that their efforts will yield the food that will sustain the defenders of Madrid: the “army of the people” fighting for democracy against the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco. This historically important film is a moving testament to the democratic forces which hoped to spare their nation from what was to prove to be years of tyranny under Franco. It is a profound and moving look at war’s devastation. There is heartbreaking battle footage focusing on “the true face of men going into action” and how war becomes “a normal life” when you are defending your country. Finally there is memorable footage of Fuenteduena and its villagers. Originally the film’s stark and poignant narration was to be spoken by a young actor named ORSON WELLES, Indeed, his name remains in the credits. However, it was determined that his voice was not forceful enough. Hemingway himself stepped in to read his own words. 52 minutes. Documentary