BEST DOCUMENTARY NOMINATION Academy Award (1991)
SPECIAL JURY AWARD San Francisco International Film Festival (1991)
In the late 1930s, Spain was embroiled in a civil war which prefigured the conflicts of World War II. A significant number of idealistic young Americans were appalled by the involvement of fascists and Nazis in that war and rushed to join a special unit fighting on the Republican side against them, called "The Abraham Lincoln Brigade." Public-spirited people of all political persuasions actively supported these efforts at the time, but in the McCarthy era of the late 1940s and early 1950s, the brigade was condemned because it had contained communists, and those who fought in it were blacklisted and even imprisoned.
Forever Activists explores the subsequent careers of a number of those who fought in this famous group, including a 50th-anniversary reunion in Spain in 1986. Despite the hardships they endured, these aging political activists continued their activism in the U.S., and were involved in the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement, among other causes. The members, many of whom are Jewish and now in their seventies and eighties, retrace their steps on the old battlefields of Spain. Spanish Civil War buffs will be intrigued by footage of La Passionaria (a very prominent Republican figure in the conflict) both during the war and during the 50th-anniversary reunion.
"... a visually powerful film that helps us understand the meaning of citizenship in 20th century America. Through the prism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, by following the lives of these remarkable individuals through 50 years of struggle, we gain a deep insight into American history, society and politics."
- Robert N. Bellah, Professor of Sociology, University of California/Berkeley
Home Use DVD:
Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information
Classroom/Library Use DVD: $195
Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information
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Stories from the Veterans of Abraham Lincoln Brigade
USA, 1991, 60 minutes, Color
Directed by Judith Montell
Public Exhibition formats: 16mm, Beta, DVD