Native Land

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Native Land
Directed byLeo Hurwitz
Paul Strand
Written byLeo Hurwitz
Ben Maddow
Produced byLeo Hurwitz
StarringPaul Robeson (Narrator/Vocalist)
Fred Johnson
CinematographyPaul Strand
Edited byLionel Berman
Leo Hurwitz
Bob Stebbins
Music byMarc Blitzstein
Release date
11 May 1942
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited States

Native Land is a 1942 documentary film directed by Leo Hurwitz and Paul Strand.[1]

A combination of a documentary format and staged reenactments, the film depicted the struggle of trade unions against union-busting corporations, their spies and contractors. It was based on the 1938 report of the La Follette Committee's investigation of the repression of labor organizing.

Famous African-American singer, actor and activist Paul Robeson participated as an off-screen narrator and vocalist.


  • Paul Robeson as Narrator and vocalist (voice)
  • Fred Johnson as Fred Hill, a farmer
  • Mary George as Hill's wife
  • John Rennick as Hill's son
  • Amelia Romano as Window scrubber
  • Houseley Stevenson as White sharecropper
  • Louis Grant as Black sharecropper
  • James Hanney as Mack, Union president
  • Howard Da Silva as Jim, an informer
  • Art Smith as Harry Carlyle
  • John Marley as Thug with crowbar

Restoration and re-release[edit]

A restored version of the film was released in 2011. The film was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, funded by the Packard Humanities Institute.[2]

The new print was made “from the original 35mm nitrate picture negative, a 35mm safety duplicate negative, and a 35mm safety up-and-down track negative.”[2]

The restoration premiered at the UCLA Festival of Preservation on March 26, 2011[2] and was screened at other North American cities in 2011 including Vancouver.[3]


  1. ^ Grant, Barry Keith and Jim Hillier. BFI Screen Guides: 100 Documentary Films, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. pp. 147–148.
  2. ^ a b c Jan-Christopher Horak. "UCLA Film & Television Archive: Native Land (1942)". Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  3. ^ "Recent Restorations: Treasures From The UCLA Festival Of Preservation » Native Land". Archived from the original on 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2011-11-07.

External links[edit]