From AMERICAN MASTERS

Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning

The story, struggles and profound body of work of photographer Dorothea Lange.
  • Premiere Date: August 29, 2014
  • Rating: NR

One of the most recognized and representative documentary images in the world, a haunting portrait that came to represent the suffering of America’s Great Depression, is her heralded photograph Migrant Mother.  Yet few know the story, struggles and profound body of work of the woman who created the portrait, Dorothea Lange (May 26, 1895 — Oct. 11, 1965).

Lange-MigrantMother02

Dorothea Lange – Migrant Mother #2

American Masters — Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning premiering nationwide Friday, August 29 at 9-11 pm on PBS (check local listings) explores the life, passions and uncompromising vision of the influential photographer, whose enduring images document five turbulent decades of American history, including the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War II Japanese internment camps. Peabody- and five-time Emmy award-winning cinematographer Dyanna Taylor — the granddaughter of Lange and writer/social scientist Paul Schuster Taylor — directs and narrates this intimate American Masters documentary.

Granddaughter Taylor, who learned to see the visual world through her grandmother’s eyes, combines family memories and journals with never-before-seen photos and film footage to bring Lange’s story into sharp focus. The result is a personal documentary of the artist whose empathy for people on the margins of society challenged America to know itself.  It is a powerful documentary, both for its content as well as its subject matter.  Lange’s images have the life and the honesty in them, presented with impeccable photographic compositions.  Lange is unquestioned one of the foremost photographers who have ever lived.  One of the greats.  This film is well worth the time to view, and I highly encourage all of you to do so at your convenience.

Many thanks to the fine folks at PBS.ORG for making this fine work available online.

 

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    About Chuck Jones

    Digital Media Producer, Photographer, Video Storyteller, Cinemagraph Master. Only Semi-Reformed Hippy. Managing Editor of http://TheCameraForum.Com

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