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Plow That Broke The Plains

USA, 1936 (MIFF 1954, New Horizons)

Director: Pare Lorentz

The Plow was the first to use the film medium to bring alive a national subject on a sponsored basis, in the same way as had been done earlier in Britain, As a first film, it had many of the faults which we can now see were characteristic of the early British documentaries; over complex editing, no human contact, a mannered commentary and a tacked-on ending explaining why the film has been made. Yet The Plow must always rank as important. Like Drifters, is pointed a way. It had vision and ambition. Its subject was visually stimulating it showed that the documentary film was no longer the monopoly of Europe. &ndash: Paul Rotha writing in “Documentary F

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