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The Spanish Earth (1937): The circumstances of its production, the film and its reception in the United States and United Kingdom

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I examine the political significance of the classic documentary The Spanish Earth in the context of the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, challenging Russell Campbell’s argument that it should be considered in the light of ‘an overriding need for unity in the face of the enemy’. I argue instead that the film reflected the international Communist agenda. This emphasized defence of the Republic rather than engaging with its political complexities or with the demands of urban workers. I underline the film’s rural and Castilian focus, and describe its reception in the United States and United Kingdom, before offering an explanation for its continued currency in those countries, and an overview of the consequences.
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Keywords: Ernest Hemingway; Joris Ivens; Left Politics; Spanish Civil War; United Kingdom; United States

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Middlesex University

Publication date: 01 April 2016

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  • The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (CJCS) is committed to publishing research and theoretical articles in the fields of media studies, popular culture and cinema, public relations and advertising studies, social communication, new media, language uses in the media, communication and cultural policies, social and national identities, gender studies, sports and leisure, tourism and heritage, among other related issues. CJCS publishes double blind peer-reviewed articles and its aims and scope cover not only Catalan media and cultural systems but also other social contexts.
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