The River: New Deal Art and Environmental Politics
Second of three films that Pare Lorentz and Roy Stryker produced under the same Farm Security Administration (FSA) team as Dorothea Lange’s iconic photographers of the Depression in America. It follows the “Plow that Broke the Plains” from 1936 and is followed by “The City” of 1939. 1937, USA, 25 mins.
Peter Rutkoff, Chair, Department of American Studies, Kenyon University in Ohio and author of recent non-fiction works that examine African-American art and culture, as well as two novels, most recently Irish Eyes will lead a discussion over brunch about the Art of the WPA/FSA, framing the “The River” and the Dorothea Lange exhibit, currently at Fenimore Art Museum, together as part of the American movement of the social realist ascendancy. The entire film, The River will be shown followed by an interactive discussion about the film in terms of story, music, and poetry and their relationship to the New Deal. Short sections of the two different versions of the “Plow that Broke the Plains” will also be shown highlighting the art and politics of the 1930s.