Friday, August 16, 2013

Rights Reel: The Mexican Suitcase

Who doesn't love a lost treasure story? As a film supplement to our reading of Rebecca Pawel's Watcher in the Pine, a mystery set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, I'd like to recommend the documentary The Mexican Suitcase. The film tells the story of three lost boxes found in a closet in Mexico City in 2007. The boxes, misplaced in the chaos at the start of WWII, contained many of the Spanish Civil War negatives by the legendary photographer Robert Capa and fellow photographers Gerda Taro and David "Chim" Seymour.  The film traces the path of the negatives from Spain to France to Mexico and highlights the role Mexico played in the civil war and its significance for refugees from Spain. The film also examines the attitude of today’s Spaniards towards the fate of their ancestors who lost their lives in the war. You can stream it on Netflix or Amazon Instant.

You can also learn more and browse through a gallery of photos at the International Center for Photography website and the story and photos are also available in book form.

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