Smithsonian covers Cartier-Bresson film

July 17, 2010

Still from With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Daniel Eagan, writing for the Smithsonian, considers the importance of the recently recovered 18-minute film With the Lincoln Brigade in Spain, by Henri Cartier-Bresson (clip here):

With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade is not high art, but it is a passionate film that complements Cartier-Bresson’s other work. It shows his commitment both to leftist causes and to photojournalism, the source of much of his later fame. For years it had been hiding in plain sight in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, viewable on a poor-quality 16mm print that had been transferred to videotape around 1995. Art historian Juan Salas saw an unlabeled copy while researching American photographers in the Spanish Civil War. Using newspapers, photographs, autobiographies and diaries, he was not only able to pinpoint the shooting location and dates—October 28, 1937, near Quinto, a town outside Zaragoza in northeast Spain—but place Cartier-Bresson there conclusively.

More here.