Power and the Land (1934)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Politics & Government, Propaganda Film  |   Run Time - 33 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Power and the Land was persuasive propaganda on behalf of the government's Rural Electrification Administration. The film concentrates on a Ohio farming family, the Parkinsons (playing themselves). The REA's beneficence brings electrical power to the family's community, enabling the Parkinsons to vastly improve their lifestyle. Thanks to the portentious narration by poet-essayist Stephen Vincent Benet, the installation of a refrigerator is treated with the same pomp and ceremony as the coronation of a British monarch. The film's only drawback is that the abject poverty of the Parkinson clan seems to have been dramatically exagerrated for the purposes of the film (though who can tell?) Despite this apparent artifice, Power and the Land remained a staple of schoolroom showings well into the 1960s.

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Keywords

electrical, family, farming, poverty, propaganda, public-utilities, rurality