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Into the Fire


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Frequently Bought Together

Into the Fire + The Good Fight: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War (1984) + The Internationale
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Product Details

  • Actors: Martha Gellhorn, Celia Greenspan, Evelyn Hutchins, Salaria Kea
  • Directors: Julia Newman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FIRST RUN FEATURES
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MAFXQE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,717 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Into the Fire" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Short Film: Archives of Activism
  • Director Introduction & Biography
  • Archival Photo Gallery
  • Timeline
  • Resources

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Spain, 1936: right-wing military officers led by General Francisco Franco attempt to overthrow the newly elected, democratic government. Both Hitler and Mussolini quickly lend support to the uprising. In response, nearly eighty American women join over 2,700 of their countrymen in "The Good Fight"-- volunteering, in defiance of the US government, to help fight the Fascists in what would become the Spanish Civil War.

The women were part of the International Bridgade's 40,000 volunteers from fifty countries who came to fight for democracy in Spain. In this enthralling, meticulously researched documentary by Julia Newman, sixteen of these brave and idealistic nurses, writers and journalists share stories of courage and commitment to a just cause.

Most of the women were previously uninvolved in politics, and some of the nurses "had never done more than put a band-aid on a cut." Nevertheless, they quickly demonstrated their courage and resolve, throwing themselves wholeheartedly into "La Causa." Back at home, their efforts were largely unacknowledged, and Into the Fire: American Women in the Spanish Civil War vividly reveals this forgotten history. Weaving archival materials with words from the likes of Dorothy Parker and Eleanor Roosevelt, this moving film "leaves Hemingway's romantic notions of this war in the dust" (High Falls Film Festival).

Review

Hemingway, Dos Passos, Orwell, and other famous men have related their experiences during the Spanish Civil War. Now we hear from some considerably less-known women, and their stories are vivid and moving! --Seattle Weekly

A little known tale of significant heroism. --NY Press

This often harrowing documentary features astute observations of a war famously fought by men. --The Stranger (Seattle)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronald C. Couch on July 13, 2013
Format: DVD
Got this and watched it this week. It is incredible. I think that one is so taken with the women themselves that the technique of the film is kind of ignored. Although after saying that I think the film is well put together and is a good combination of current interviews, archive footage and readings from the letters and other written works of the various women who were involved in some way.

The thing that is overwhelming is the kind of off handed way these women refer to what they did. They seem to think that they had no other choice then to fight (yes I know they were not in the front lines with a gun) fascism then and there. It is interesting because most Americans didn't seem to feel that way at all, nor did most of the rest of the world. There are always, I guess, only a few who are willing to step up and be counted in each generation.

Watching it, makes me feel a little less satisfied with how I've lived my own life. If one compares one's self with the women in this movie, one is probably going to come up short.

One final thing I'd like to mention. The government that was elected by a majority of the Spanish citizens was not a communist government. However, the only state that was willing to put its money behind the Republicans was the Soviet Union. The only group of people who were completely committed to fighting fascism then and there were the communists (and of course the anarchists). The people who originally set out to over throw the democratic government of Spain were not communists, but were fascists supported by other fascist nations and of course your conservatives in almost every country.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on February 14, 2008
Format: DVD
This documentary speaks about American women who volunteered to fight against fascists in Spain. On a happy note, all the 80 women who went survived.

The work is a blend of interviews and selections from writings. I don't know if all the writings were letters, but this work had an epistolary style like Walker's "The Color Purple." This work showed living women and demonstrates how these brave young fighters became respectable old ladies. The speeches were probably from dead women and I'm sure the living women who spoke them must have been honored to do it. If you are impressed by Eleanor Roosevelt, and who isn't, then you will love her more after seeing this. Some viewers may not like this epistolary style and might prefer straight forward narration instead.

This work said that many nationalities came to fight in Spain, not just Americans. I am sure that documentary makers in other countries could create counterparts to this work. The documentary emphasizes that Spain was very much a precursor or omen for World War II. For younger audiences, the tragedies of Darfur may seem similar to the 1930s Spain presented here. One Black fighter compared the situation in Spain to the racism in the US. Many of the women interviewed seemed to be of a certain religion, but they are never seen saying they fought in Spain to fight the oppression that their religious peers faced in Europe.

The work interviews one African-American woman who fought. The work does not limit itself to gender. There are numerous photographs and some talk of the African-American men involved in this effort. They show a photo of Paul Robeson but never mention him by name. Robin D.G. Kelly has a wonderful chapter about the Black men who fought in Spain in his "Race Rebels" book. I think a progressive history major could write a fabulous paper comparing that chapter to this documentary.
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By Aura E. on June 18, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was a very honest depiction of the American (and particularly women's) involvement in the Spanish Civil War.
Very worthwhile.
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By Mr. Stephen J. Brook on November 17, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An important slice of history that would be buried and forgotten were it not for movies like this. Keep them coming!
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