OUR RUSSIAN FRONT (Joris Ivens, Lewis Milestone, 1941)

Joris Ivens and Lewis Milestone did not really direct this U.S. documentary but, rather, both supervised the editing of the material that Soviet crews had shot and produced the film. It is a trenchant, folk-rich record of Soviet resistance to the Nazi invasion during World War II. Elliot Paul’s commentary is read by one of […]


A stunning work of art, and certainly not the mere flexing of technique one might assume from its four-minute length, Études de mouvements à Paris was directed, photographed and edited by Dutch documentarian Joris Ivens.      Most of the “movements” belong to automobiles and pedestrians, shot at every kind of distance and from a variety of […]

THE FOOTBALL INCIDENT (Joris Ivens, Marceline Loridan, 1976)

Like The Pharmacy, Une histoire de ballon, le lycée Nº 31 à Pékin (César, best short film) is part of Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan’s documentary series in China, How Yukong Moved the Mountains. The best film ever made about student-teacher interaction, it also honors the wisdom of China’s leader, Mao Zedong.      The other day, […]

THE 17TH PARALLEL: THE PEOPLE’S WAR (Joris Ivens, Marceline Loridan et al., 1968)

[The U.S.] destroyed everything. The rice was so beautiful. The tanks crushed everything. A somewhat more formal on-the-spot documentary than his phenomenal The Spanish Earth (1937), Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan’s black-and-white Le 17e parallèle: La guerre du peuple is the best movie ever about the Vietnam War. During the two months of its making, […]