Recently a citizen from Montpellier travelled 1200 kilometres to visit the Joris Ivens Archives in order to find his biological father. There are many reasons why people around the world consult the Ivens collection, but this is a very special and personal one. He wanted to look for his father, which he has never known and met, in Ivens’ documentary Peace Will Win (1951)
The Indonesian Diaspora Network Victoria is organizing an exhibition in the Immigration Museum in Melbourne about the international solidarity movement in Australia after the Proclamation of Indonesia's Independence, that united the communities of Indonesians, together with the local Australians, Indians and Chinese that we should celebrate. One of the activities during the weekend of 27-29th of May is the film screening of Indonesia Calling (1946) directed by Joris Ivens, which explores the refusal of ...
Why The Netherlands has so may outstanding painters and documentary filmmakers? German film historian Thomas Tode attempts – following previous authors - to provide an answer in a recent article. According to Tode it was Joris Ivens who was leading the way in depicting the elements of nature, like the famous Dutch Light, the wind or water in all its guises: rivers, rain and clouds.
After years of preparations and research, professor Zhang Tongdao (University of Beijing) and Dutch filmmaker René Seegers finalized their four-part television series about Joris Ivens. In each part of 50 minutes one of Ivens’s Chinese films is key: 1- The 400 Million (1938); 2- Before Spring (1958); 3- How Yukong Moved the Mountains (1976) and 4- A Tale of the Wind (1988).
In 1951 Joris Ivens met Pablo Picasso during a visit to his atelier in Vaucluses. Marion Michelle made a series of photos of them, together with poet Jacques Prévert, which are on display at the exhibition about 'Picasso: Shared and Divided' in Museum Ludwig, Cologne (25 September 2021-30 January 2022). After the Second World War Picasso was 'a hero of the left' and used in this way. His dove, symbol for world peace, became a tool for propaganda in the Eastern Bloc. What do we associate with Pablo Picasso today ...
FIAF, in partnership with the Jan de Vaal Fund, invites film historians to submit proposals for thematic chapters as part of a forthcoming book on the 82-year history of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), both as an institution and as a coherent global community with its shared values, cultural missions, professional practices, scientific methods, and collaborative projects. The European Foundation Joris Ivens is an associate of FIAF since 2002 and André Stufkens is participating as co-editor of the book, together with Ch ...
75 years ago, on 17 August 1945, Indonesia declared its independence as a nation. In support of the young republic Joris Ivens filmed in October and November 1945 the boycot actions of maritime workers (the Black Armada) from various nationalities in the harbour of Sydney: Indonesia Calling. On August 26th 2020 the Indonesian ambassador opened in the National Maritime Museum of Australia, situated on Sydney's waterfront, an on-line exhibition about the relationship between Austra ...
On Thursday 16th of January H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, conferred the Order of Friendship posthumously to Joris Ivens. Mrs. Annemiek Nooteboom received the Friendship Medal on behalf of the Ivens-family. She gave the medal and certificate to the European Foundation Joris Ivens to keep and treasure it forever in the archives.
On 30 and 31 October a delegation from Quang Tri province (central Vietnam) visited the city of Nijmegen, at the invitation of the municipality of Nijmegen, The Economic Board and the European Foundation Joris Ivens. Ms. Ngo Thi Hoa, ambassador of Vietnam in The Hague, attended the meetings. In Quang Tri the Ben Hai River is situated on the 17th parallel, where Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan-Ivens in 1967 shot the long documentary Le 17e parallele. The delegation was headed by mr. Hoang Nam, the vice-president of the Peoples C ...
Matera in the Italian region of Basilicata is this year’s European Capital of Culture. The exhibition ‘Visione Unica’ of the design group Formafantasma includes Joris Ivens’ documentary l’ Italia Non è un Paese Povero (1960) as part of a visual archive about the very rich patrimony of this region. The last decades Matera shows a remarkable switch from poor and subordinated region towards a spectacular cultural pinnacle, praised by UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund and used by many famous ...
On 16 November at IDFA Amsterdam the documentary Marceline. A Woman. A Century made by German director Cordelia Dvorak will be premiered. This portrait of the strong-minded filmmaker Marceline Loridan-Ivens (1928-2018) and fourth wife of Joris Ivens, saw its final editing two days before she passed away. In this film we see Marceline serving her guests coffee or vodka in her Paris apartment at the rue des Saints Peres.
At the occasion of the 120th birthday of Joris Ivens and the 50th anniversary of the debut of the film The 17th Parallel, The People’s War (Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan-Ivens, 1968) the VietNam Film Institute in collaboration with the European Foundation Joris Ivens are organizing an international Ivens-seminar in Hanoi on 22-24 November. Renowned (film) scholars from Vietnam, Canada, USA, Australia, Indonesia, China and The Netherlands will provide an impulse to the Ivens Studies around the world. Former Vietnamese co ...
The DEFA Foundation in Berlin released a new German DVD with Ivens-films in conjunction with the book Günter Jordan published about these films. DEFA already had launched a DVD with Song of the Rivers in and now presents The Wind Rose, Friendship Will Win and The Peace Cycle Tour Warsaw-Berlin-Prague 1952.
The long awaited book (in German) about Ivens and his East-German films, written by thé specialist in this field, Günter Jordan, has been published by the DEFA Foundation. This beautiful book describes in 680 pages the triumph in the 1950’s, the condemnation at the end of the 1960’s when Ivens became persona non grata in the GDR, until the resurrection of Ivens’ DEFA-films.
Award winning Canadian documentary filmmaker Peter Davis presented his documentary Digging the Spanish Earth. Thanks to his interviews with Joris Ivens, Martha Gellhorn, Helen van Dongen and George Seldes, this film is of historical importance itself. Peter Davis also revisited locations in Madrid and Fuentedueña de Tajo where The Spanish Earth was shot in spring 1937.
Digging the Spanish Earth presents a clear narrative and structure with the history of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the production of the icon of documentary film: Ivens’ The Spanish Earth (1937). The selected news reel footage as well as the cross cutting between clips from the original film and the revisit tour of Peter Davis in Madrid and Fuentedueña de Tajoa make it a vivid, clarifying and moving film.
The most striking aspect which elevates the film to an historical important document itself is the number of interviews with eye witnesses of the shooting of the film: Joris Ivens himself, Helen van Dongen (editor), Martha Gellhorn (journalist) and George Seldes (journalist). These interviews on film were already shot in 1981, but never published before. ‘The people, the passion and the politics’, as Peter Davis calls it himself.
He visited the Joris Ivens Archives in Nijmegen twice to study the documents. In Spain he was accompanied by two specialists: Dr. Almudena Cros Gutierrez and Dr. Alex Vernon. Almudena is an art historian, founder of Across Madrid (touring) and president of the Associaciónde Amigosde las Brigadas Internacionales (AABI). The story of the Civil War is also the story of her family. Alex Vernon teaches post-1900 American literature at Hendrix College and specializes in war literature, among others of Ernest Hemingway. He published Hemingways Second War: bearing witness to the Spanish Civil War (2011). Their interventions on the very spots where Ivens, John Fernhout, Hemingway and John Dos Passos made the film are informative, balanced and nuanced.
One of the surprising elements of the documentary is that images of Spain in Flames are included, the lost documentary of Helen van Dongen which precedes The Spanish Earth. Also new is the fact that Davis found out what happened to the protagonist of Ivens’film: Julian. At the time he was a soldier in Madrid, returned to Fuentedueña de Tajo, but disappeared again during the shooting of the film.
The documentary was nominated for the Best feature Documentary of the Madrid International Film Festival 2017.
About Peter Davis and his production company Villon Film (Vancouver, Canada)
Villon Films has been independently producing and distributing award-winning films since 1970. With a strong focus on socio-political documentary, the collection spans such issues as government, history, ecology, culture, health and science, women’s issues, biography, and the apartheid period of South African history, among others.
Villon Films was founded by Peter Davis, who has written, produced, and directed more than seventy documentaries. His work has been shown on every major television network on the globe including CBC, CTV, BBC, CBS, NBC, Swedish Television, German Television, and NHK Japan.
Davis was born and raised in England. He completed his masters studies at Oxford University before emigrating to Sweden and then North America. His early career included positions as scriptwriter for the National Film Board of Canada; director-cameraman for BBC, CBC, Swedish TV, Danish TV, Australian Broadcasting, and WNET; as well as producer for Swedish TV, London’s Rediffusion Television, BBC, CBS, CBC, CTV, Polytel (West Germany), WNET, the United Nations, UNICEF, and C.A.R.E.
The Villon Films collection includes biographies of spies such as CIA agent and Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt and U2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers, and of the World War II Foreign Service officers who were accused of “losing China”; a satirical history of the American annexation of the Philipines; and a sociological history of the Jewish experience in the Catskills.
The Peter Davis Collection at Indiana University represents over 50 years of work. It includes not only films, but also corresponding outtakes, photographs, audio cassettes, and manuscripts, all available for research and study. The South African material spans the period of the most intensive struggle for human rights in that country, and also includes historical footage dating from the beginning of the century. Among the documentaries held there are Remember Mandela!, In Darkest Hollywood, White Laager and Generations of Resistance.
Both Peter Davis and Villon Films have won numerous awards, including:
In Darkest Hollywood, First Prize, Big Muddy Film Festival, 1994
This Bloody, Blundering Business, Blue Ribbon, American Film Festival, 1978
Stocking Up, Red Ribbon, American Film Festival, 1982
Winnie Mandela:Under Apartheid, Blue Ribbon, American Film Festival, 1986; Urkunde, Internationalen Demokratischen Frauenfoderation, 1986; League of Mediterranean Women’s plaque, 1987
Getting The Most From Your Garden, Red Ribbon, American Film Festival, 1981
Side by Side, Women against AIDS in Zimbabwe, Jury Award, WHO, 1995
D.H. Lawrence in Taos, The Chris Award, the Film Council for Greater Columbus, 1970
D. H. Lawrence in Taos, Blue Ribbon Award, American Film Festival, 1970.