The Panic Is On: The Great American Depression as Seen by the Common Man
DVD + Audio CD
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Intimate newsreel footage paints a fascinating panorama of American life in the wake of the stock market crash on October 29, 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. Includes excerpts from government-made films and classic documentaries that capture the poverty and extreme distress of the time. Also includes a 32-page booklet of letters, observations, photographs and more. 2009/color/120 min/NR/fullscreen.
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I suggest to many educators out there, if you want to really get your point across about any topic - don't just say it with notes, show it and then discuss your notes; you will not "lose" one student's attention - trust me on this.
Just a few of the short films I found particularly interesting include the effects of the dust storms and the flooding on the economy--and people's lives--during The Depression; and there's some fascinating footage of a textile worker's strike with a lady giving strikers a pep-talk using all her might! The sound on the footage of the textile strike could be a little better; I didn't understand everything the lady said. Nevertheless, the camaraderie amongst the workers was quite clear and I liked that.
Other captivating footage shows "The Tub" soup kitchen run by "Mr. Zero;" although it was his critics who named him "Mr. Zero" the fellow was smart enough to embrace that name and make himself and his soup kitchen famous--so famous that they were feeding and clothing many more men than they otherwise would have! They started at five o'clock in the morning and stayed open until seven each evening, first serving oatmeal with unlimited bread and coffee for breakfast and then soup (not "dish water") for the rest of the day--again with all the bread and coffee the men wanted! We see what eventually happens to "Mr. Zero" but I'll leave that out so I don't spoil it for you!
Even big stars get involved helping the less fortunate. Fanny Brice and some chorus girls in a show they were performing knit sweaters for the poor; that was really terrific work. We also see a young lady selling the only thing she really had left, a chinchilla coat which she says she purchased for twenty-five thousand dollars. She also offers financial advice for anyone who has any money left.
There's so much more but I'll stop here to avoid spoilers. I agree with anyone who says that the music on the CD is wonderful, too! Together this documentary on DVD and the CD truly capture the essence of The Great Depression. The booklet is well done, too. I highly recommend this DVD/CD/booklet set for anyone studying The Great Depression; people who appreciate historical documentaries with social and cultural themes would also do well to get this for their collections.
For anyone who really wants to experience what that era FELT like..check this DVD/CD out...and the CD is fabulous..just the tune THE PANIC IS ON is worth the price of purchase!