In the depths of the Great Depression of 1929, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Farm Security Administration. Within the FSA was a photography unit headed by economist Roy Stryker, consisting of now world renowned photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Margaret Bourke White. Their assignment was to capture on film the deep poverty ravaging the nation, in order to convince the American people to support FDR's New Deal.
This documentary short combines universal images, sound recordings of music of the 30s and interviews with people living in the government migrant camps FDR created in California. The camps formed the basis of the novel and movie classic, The Grapes of Wrath. What started out as a project to convince Americans to accept Roosevelt's New Deal, became a permanent photographic monument to survival. The FSA photographic collection mirrors what FDR is most known for,hope and optimism against all odds.
Catagory: Great Depression/New Deal Franklin D. Roosevelt
Educational Level: all grade levels
Director: Cara DeVito
Producer: Pare Lorentz Film Center
Run Time: 00:13:00
Color: Color & B&W
Format: DVD & VHS
Public Domain?: No
Critics Corner Review
This film contains impressive images of terrible poverty, the Dust Bowl, and the government migrant camps during the Great Depression. Students at all grade levels commented on these images recorded by the Farm Security Administration photographers as well as on the sound recordings of government camp songs of the period. However, although high school students heartily recommended this film for history classes as well as for English classes reading The Grapes of Wrath, middle school students found the narration tedious. Even so, they felt that the images really helped them understand the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl better.