Films by Joris Ivens, program four | Chicago Reader

Films by Joris Ivens, program four

One of the most ambitious as well as most widely seen documentaries ever made, Joris Ivens's Song of the Rivers (1954, 90 min.) lyrically celebrates the labor movements alongside half a dozen of the world's great rivers: the Volga, Mississippi, Ganges, Nile, Amazon, and Yangtze. Given the amount of coordination necessary between separate film crews, 32 cinematographers, and many other collaborators (including Bertolt Brecht, Paul Robeson, and Dmitri Shostakovich), Ivens's experiences as a world traveler and his skills as an editor made him ideally suited for the job. On the same program, Ivens's clandestinely filmed Indonesia Calling (1946, 22 min.), about the exiled Dutch East Indies government in Australia, which cost Ivens his Dutch citizenship.

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