History Piece

 
The Making of Power and the Land (1939-1940)


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During this period, the Parkinsons and Ivens became very close. Indeed, they called him “Dutchy.” After the shooting was over, Ivens arranged for Bill and two of his sons to come to New York City. Then in late 1939, Ivens sent the Parkinsons a kitchen appliance - a mastermixer - as a Christmas present. In response (as Ivens took pains to note in his memoirs), Hazel replied that “I find it very difficult to express our appreciation in words” and that “we sincerely hope you will come back sometime and help us eat some of the things I intend to prepare with it.”

The following year, Power and the Land premiered in nearby St. Clairsville, with Ivens and the Parkinsons in attendance.

This text was prepared by Dr. Ephraim K. Smith. He would like to acknowledge the assistance of Mr. Andre Stufkens, Executive Director, European Foundation Joris Ivens in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. For additional information see Joris Ivens, The Camera and I (New York, 1969); Andre Stufkens, ed., Cinema Without Borders: The Films of Joris Ivens (Nijmegen, the Netherlands, 2002); Hans Shoots, Living Dangerously: A Biography of Joris Ivens (Amsterdam, 2000); Kees Bakker, Joris Ivens and the Documentary Context (Amsterdam, 1999); and Robert L. Snyder, Pare Lorentz and the Documentary Film (Norman, Oklahoma, 1968). For additional information on Ivens including historical photographs and excerpts from his early films, see the wonderful web site of the European Foundation Joris Ivens (Nijmegen, the Netherlands) at info@ivens.nl. This is really worth an extended visit!

Dr. Smith would like to thank Raymond Teichman, Supervisory Archivist, and Virginia Lewick of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York for locating the correspondence in 1936 between Ivens and the TVA. The relevant correspondence is Sidney Bernstein to Joris Ivens, March 16, 1936; Joris Ivens to Herbert S. Marks, April 11, 1936; Herbert S. Marks to Joris Ivens, April 20, 1936; George Slover to Joris Ivens, April 20, 1936; Joris Ivens to Ross, June 26, 1936; and an undated note by “F.A.” (Forrest Allen) in the Herbert S. Marks Papers, the FDR Presidential Library, Hyde Park, New York.

© 2005 Ephraim K. Smith

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