Victoire de la vie

The order is to evacuate Madrid, partly in ruins.

The Fight for Life, Pare Lorentz calls his film on reducing infant mortality (La Centrale Sanitaire Internationale is, in this instance, the sponsor or commissioning agency). Buñuel has his Terre sans Pain on Las Hurdes to make the point more furiously still, defying the Fascists.

Co-directed with Herbert Kline.

Medical supplies are as scarce as food, circumstances also require mobile surgical hospitals at the front. The wounded are treated and evacuated speedily.

Several nations participate in the treatment of soldiers, “from murdered Spain” the appeal is made, an SOS around the world.

A village fiesta on the first anniversary of its hospital.

Children of Spain, “so menaced, so alive.”

One recuperates by the sea.

Reading and writing are new accomplishments for many.

Back to the front.


L’Espagne vivra

An appeal for Secours Populaire, comprising a brief history of the Spanish Republic and an account of the Spanish Civil War in which Italy and Germany loom large, Britain and France hardly at all.

A cogent, lucid film made to solicit pennies for the milk fund, an invaluable précis.

It’s after Munich, after Czechoslovakia, but before Poland, before France. Sadoul and Cartier-Bresson translate Mussolini and the pertinent passages in Mein Kampf, draw maps, shoot pictures, everything you can think of and then some, Britain and France were shortly in it, a lot more than milk money had to be scraped up.


Le Retour

End of the war.

Prisoners all across Europe, set free by the advancing Allies.

They die for days at Dachau, dwindling. Millions walk the length of the Continent, East or West, some ride in empty munitions trains, many, many thousands (by American Transport Command) in C-47s.

John Swope photographed this sort of thing, Cartier-Bresson has immense amounts of footage assembled in thirty minutes’ time with fine narration in French and a tale to tell that also is French, at the very end, repatriation (cf. Renoir’s Le Caporal épinglé).

For Les Services Américains d’Information.