REFUGE, a pro-republican documentary from the Spanish Civil War

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The Spanish Civil War was a ferocious ideological fight between Republicans and Nationalists during which cinema was used as political propaganda. The diversity of film centres during the conflict produced a wide variety of points of view and ideological or strategic proposals. Jean-Paul Le Chanois directed Un peuple attend (1939), a documentary that showed images of exiled Spanish republicans living in appalling conditions in the refugee camps in Argels. Part of this material is contained in REFUGE (1939), a documentary edited by Irving Lerner. Testimony to the cruelty of the Spanish Civil War, the film was produced by Cin-Libert and the Medical Bureau and the North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy. A documentary film in the Filmoteca Espaola classified as A People Is Waiting (sic) may in fact be Refuge.

Keywords: Spanish Civil War; cinema; film archives; propaganda

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Barcelona.

Publication date: February 20, 2007

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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