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The Bridge
Description: Internationalist film exploring the economic and political importance of South America to the United States.
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Clip #: TFA-313B
Length: 29:57
Year: 1944
Color: B/W
Sound: Sound
Library: TFA Network
Decade: 1940s
Filmmaker: Willard Van Dyke
Region: South America
Subject: Manufacturing
Original: 16mm
1940s, South America, Latin America, sunrise over Atlantic Ocean, map showing sun rising over major South American cities, Natal, Brazil, Rio De Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Argentina, aerial Buenos Aires cityscape, Manaos, Amazon rainforest, Caracas, Venezuela, soldiers departing barracks, Cuzco, Peru, Incan ruins, map showing location of South American industries and triangular trading system linking South America to North America and Europe pre WWII, dissolution of triangular trading system during WWII, Puerto Cabello, harbor, burned German ship, Italian ship covered with seaweed, Bacicin Padre Genova, male workers baling cotton, sacks of cotton stacked high in warehouse, coffee field, Argentina, Pampas, cattle herd, wheat field blowing in wind, granary, corn being stored outdoors, male worker shoveling corn into factory furnace to be used as fuel, blacksmith burning corn on forge, industry, male factory workers, Venezuela, oil wells, roughnecks, oil being drilled and pumped from jungle, Chile, nitrate being blasted out of desert, blasted ore, mine railway, mine railroad, largest open pit copper mine in world, copper being blasted out of mine, metals being manufactured, large open air market, vendors, South American men, women and children, woman grinding corn on stone mortar, mother preparing meal and sending daughter to fetch water from town pump using oil can, mother serving children meal of potatoes, squash and yucca, baby drinking sugar water, woman serving husband meal with blackened meat, men and women making hand weaved pack saddles for mules, men and women weaving on handlooms and using mechanized looms in factories, female factory workers, farmers using traditional agricultural methods, wooden ox plow, grain being threshed under hooves of horses, wind winnowing, wheat fields, eroded fields, malnutrition, poverty, children, South America map pointing to great centers of population, locations of vast unused agricultural areas highlighted on map, sparsely populated areas of dense jungle with too much water, child holding monkey, men building palm leaf thatched hut, Indians, insects, leafs of tree damaged from insects, caterpillars, snake slithering through foliage, untapped resources, steel mill, steel mill workers, bulldozer clearing dense jungle foliage, loggers felling tree, rubber tree seeds being planted, tree bud being grafted onto young rubber tree roots, liquid rubber being tapped out of tree, crops, crop fields, orange trees, pineapples, vegetables, chicken, South America map showing railway routes, highways, steamer routes mostly to other continents, rivers, native canoes, untamed jungle, crosses in untapped western desert, car pov traveling on winding roads through desert and mountains, Andes Mountains, bus slowly traveling on winding mountain road, pack mules, barefoot people walking on dirt road and carrying items on back, world map with lines pointed from South America to different continents, cargo being loaded into US Air Force aircraft hold, airplane taking off and in flight, South American workmen, miner, airplane flying over jungle, smiling woman holding baby, mountain peaks poking through clouds, aerial volcano

A document of the “Good Neighbor Policy” era, The Bridge shows the endemic poverty and recent industrialization of Latin America and looks to such postwar advances as air travel, the “bridge” that will eventually link the United States with its neighbors to the south.

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