Portland film conference features ALBA panels

January 24, 2011

Still from With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Celebrated triennially, Cine-Lit is the premiere international conference devoted to Hispanic film and literature and linked with the Portland International Film Festival. This February, Cine–Lit VII will feature a series of lectures and film screenings focusing on the cinematic representation of the role of the Lincolns in the Spanish Civil War. Juan Salas of NYU will present With the Lincoln Brigade in Spain, the recently recovered twenty-minute film by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Herbert Kline. Anthony Geist will also screen and discuss his documentary film, Almas sin Fronteras (Souls without Borders). The production includes archived footage of the war and interviews with a number of veterans who fought in the brigade. Sebastiaan Faber will discuss what is being called the “Holy Grail” of Capa’s oeuvre, of war photography: the treasure trove of 4,500 Spanish Civil War negatives that comprise the so-called “Mexican Suitcase.” The collection of negatives has been welcomed the world over as a stunning discovery and revelation. Finally, one of the highlights of the conference is the documentary film (and official entry in the Portland International Film Festival, Hollywood vs Franco, by Catalan filmmaker Oriol Porta. The documentary, more than a decade in the making, is told through the eyes of Alvah Bessie, a Hollywood screenwriter, who also fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. The film explores the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and how the dedication to the Spanish Republic impacted leftist actors, filmmakers, screenwriters and intellectuals during the McCarthy Era. More information here.