Spanish Heart

Terra di Spagna
by Joris Ivens Documentary Usa 1937 52'

In Spanish Earth Ivens became personally i nvolved on the front dur ing the Spanish Civil War. Julian , the protagonist, is the guiding thread of some of the film's episodes: an irrigation project around the village of FuentedueÁ±a, forty kilometres from the capital; the fight on the front; fear and death caused by the F rancoist troops' bombings, a parallel between working in the fields and fighting against fascism . The project of a stock footage documentary on the Spanish Civil War originated in the USA in 1936, but Ivens suggested making a new film on location. Four weeks after the start of the shooting Ivens went back to Paris. There he met Ernest Hemingway, who decided to follow him to Spain. The second period in Spain produced the most tragic and painful scenes. On sev e ral occasions the troupe members' life was in danger.The planning of the film changed day by day." It was war time, and war was imposing on us, deciding the screenplay [...] ". Before the end of the shooting, the protagonist Julian disappeared and was replaced by an "anonymous soldier". Hemingway wrote the commentary, which was fir st read by Orson Welles, then by Hemingway himself in the final version . To those who accused him of lacking objectivity, Ivens responded that "a documentary maker should take sides on essenti al subjects such as fascism and anti-fascism, if he wants his work to have a dramatic, emotional and artistic value [...]".


Joris Ivens



Film submission

26° Festival


05 June - 11 June 2023

Competition registration




Subscriptions are now closed