Wednesday night at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, I’ll be introducing—probably with a very, very short introduction—a double bill of Our Daily Bread and The Plow that Broke the Plains. You can find details here.
They’re pretty remarkable films, released only two years apart, but what a two years. The wild, really kind of crazy and fantastic hope1 in Our Daily Bread yields to the brutal, dismal—I don’t know if I want to say realistic per se, but certainly more realistic and inconclusive picture of The Plow that Broke the Plains. Just as, broadly speaking, you could say the New Deal went from the idea of We Can (and Should) Do Anything to We Need to Work within Clear Limits over the same period.
Really, I guess you should watch Vidor’s fable first and then Lorentz’s documentary.
Anyway, I’ll have something to say in this line tomorrow night.
1Which is described as leftist. But do you notice in the scene where they talk about what form of government they want to have, they reject democracy and socialism, and conclude, it’s a big job and we need a big man to run it? Hmmm.