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Soul of a People

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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(Jun 29, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Americans faced crushing financial devastation during the Great Depression. But it was also a unique opportunity to capture the essence of our country ... a people who refused to give up hope. Both witty and heartbreaking, Soul of a People is the powerful story behind a controversial public assistance program, the Federal Writers Project one of four arts programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. Thousands of writers including Richard Wright, Saul Bellow and John Cheever traveled throughout the country to interview ordinary people for a series of state guidebooks. But controversy ignited when they portrayed not only our triumphs but our tragedies. A unique portrait of 1930s Americana, what they uncovered profoundly impacted the project, the nation, and modern literature. Features interviews with two of the Project's best-known workers, Studs Terkel (in one of his last interviews) and Stetson Kennedy; as well as a diverse group of authors, poets and historians, including Douglas Brinkley and David Bradley. Based on the book by David A. Taylor and narrated by award-winning actress Patricia Clarkson.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Patricia Clarkson
  • Directors: Andrea Kalin
  • Writers: David A. Taylor
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Infinity Entertainment/Hepcat
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003K7C6V6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,838 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on October 16, 2010
Before watching this I was not aware of the depression era WPA project known as "Writers Project". I am amazed how the current 2010 politics parallel those of the 1930's. It seems that today's America has yet to appreciate her cultural richness.

I encourage you to have pen and paper nearby as you watch this as your reading list will gain some new additions.

Why did I not learn of the Writer's Project when we discussed the Great Depression in middle school, high school, and college?
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Unless you are a writer and read about the recent history of writing, you may not find this dvd very interesting. The program does accurately portray the depression and the unfortunate circumstances that many found themselves in. It does raise the question of whether the government should have been in the business of expanding into this area and also that the program did not have a defined role or adequate reason for being other than to provide jobs. There was no goal other than that. But, some good things did come out of it and this seems to be an accurate DVD that does not choose one side or the other...It just tells us what happened and why...You make up you own mind about the adviseability of the government having this program. It helps complete a section on my shelf about the depression and gives me a fuller picture. I found it quite interesting.
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SOUL OF A PEOPLE: WRITING AMERICA'S STORY offers a fine survey of 1930s America, discussing the story behind the Federal Writers Project of the times - one of four arts programs of Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. The writers portrayed human triumphs and failures alike, sparking controversy in writings that changed a nation. Any American history collection needs this!
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Very good movie about the depression. Great photography and interesting interviews. Thankfully, we had the WPA. The writers did a travel and information guide each state. Would be great to have all 48 editions! Great yo be able to buy a DVD about it.
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