Segments in this Video

Libertad, 1930-1939 (01:50)


In 1919, poets returned to France after the war, creating Dadaism and Surrealism. Andre Breton, Louis Aragon, Salvador Dali, and friends explored new avant-garde art forms. Threats of fascism forced the artists to become more politically attuned.

Aragon's Betrayal (02:07)

Aragon went to Ukraine to represent the Surrealist movement at the World Congress of Writers per Breton's instruction. Communists threatened to declare war on Surrealists, so Aragon signed a paper promising that Surrealists had been wrong. Breton considered this a betrayal and Aragon was excommunicated from the group.

October Group (03:24)

In 1933, the October Group sailed to the USSR for the International Olympiad of Proletarian Theater. They performed for weeks and Stalin welcomed them in Moscow.

Denouncing Fascism (03:17)

Writer André Gide lived in an apartment with many male lovers and had a daughter to preserve his lineage. The International Congress of Writers for the Defense of Culture was to begin in Paris and Gide would preside over it. The attendees included H.G. Wells and Aldous Huxley, among other committed anti-fascists.

Political Battles (02:22)

Aragon and Breton had become enemies and at the Congress of Writers, Aragon arranged Breton's speech to be read near the end by someone else. Surrealists and Communists each had dreams of revolutions, but not of the same revolution. Picasso met a new lover, Dora Maar.

Capa and Taro (03:39)

Picasso compromised with his wife, Olga, by compensating her but not granting her a divorce. In 1936, strikes garnered press attention.

Gide and the USSR (05:12)

Gide traveled to Moscow to visit the Soviets where he was a huge symbol to the USSR. Traveling in Russia, Gide could not help but notice the thousands of poor people, the lack of high quality goods in shops, and the bureaucrats out of touch with the public. Stalin refused to speak with Gide.

Fascism in Spain (04:03)

Gide returned to France and had dinner with André Malraux and his wife Clara. Malraux had a complex reputation and had recently returned from Spain where a bloody battle waged where he had been set to gather information for France on the severity of the war.

Hell on Earth (04:22)

Gide was into gossip and spread rumors. Malraux was named Colonel of the Republican Army and fought in Spain. Meanwhile, Gide was publishing a book, calling socialism "hell on earth."

Gide's Publication (03:21)

Gide sent a writer with his manuscript to show Malraux in Spain. Malraux read the proofs in cafe surrounded by military volunteers. He decided it would be harmful to Soviets and should not be published, but Gide published it prior to receiving Malraux's opinion.

Witnessing the War (03:52)

Madrid was bombed day and night, and photographers, journalists, and writers traveled there to witness it. Ernest Hemingway had been sent to Spain by America and was the highest paid war correspondent in history.

Picasso's Wartime Lifestyle (02:22)

Picasso had a quiet, lazy life in France during the Spanish Civil War. He spent time with his lovers, slept in late, shared his money with Spanish artists, and painted.

Basque Bombings (03:58)

On April 26, 1937, a German plane bombed Basque Country, killing over a thousand civilians. Franco's objective was to demoralize. Picasso was artistically inspired and fell into a creative frenzy/

Taro's Death (04:03)

Picasso displayed in art in Spain and then vowed not to return until freedom was restored before leaving with friends to go summer. In Madrid, Taro caught a ride with strangers and a tank appeared, injuring her and requiring an operation. She died at age 27.

Malraux's Film (03:03)

The Fascists traveled towards Barcelona. Malraux had been shooting a movie in intended to let the world know that non-intervention was a mistake.

Credits: Libertad! Episode 5—The Adventurers of Modern Art (01:03)

Credits: Libertad! Episode 5—The Adventurers of Modern Art

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Libertad! Episode 5—The Adventurers of Modern Art

Part of the Series : The Adventurers of Modern Art
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The interwar period is significant for its tumults of enthusiasm and illusion. Communism is a tempting alternative, and the desire for social, moral, artistic, and political revolution hangs in the air. In 1936, war erupts in Spain. Malraux and Hemingway are covering the Republicans' struggle as journalists, and photos by Capa and Gerda Taro get published in the international press, fostering a broader awareness of the conflict. In April 1937, the Guernica massacre inspires Picasso to create a monumental canvas symbolizing the violence perpetrated by Franco's supporters and by fascism more generally. The Spanish Republic is lost, and one war ends as another begins.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL114910

ISBN: 978-1-68272-872-7

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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