POWER AMONG MEN (1959) [Feature]

(MIFF 1959 , Programme 10)
Director: Thorold Dickinson

This film is dedicated to its cast: the villagers of Sant" Ambrogio, Italy, the farmers of Fermathe. Haiti; the townsfolk of Kitimat. Canada, and the scientists at Kjcller, Norway.

Power Among Men is concerned with the problem of human survival. In four sequences — each in colour, introduced by a short sequence in black and white — we witness the reconstruction of an Italian village devastated during World War II; a scattering of Haitians forming themselves into a thriving community; a new town rising in Canada around a gigantic hydroelectric project; and, in Norway, an examination of the urgent necessity for international control of nuclear energy.

After fleeting glimpses of various beautiful statues which have survived intact, we see a succession of mutilated works of art and ravaged. bombed-out cities, as the narrator speaks the lines from Shakespeare's Hamlet:

What a piece of work is man!

How noble in reason!

How infinite in faculty!

In form and moving, how express and admirable!

In action, how like an angel!

In apprehension, how like a god! Concluding on a somewhat skeptical note, mankind's problem is stated in two ways: "Not only must we prevent a war, but we must learn to survive in peace . . . we can control things pretty well, but we must control ourselves."

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