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Shooting in Paradise: Conflict, Compassion and Amateur Filmmaking During the Spanish Civil War

Norris Nicholson, Heather (2006) Shooting in Paradise: Conflict, Compassion and Amateur Filmmaking During the Spanish Civil War. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 27 (3). pp. 313-330. ISSN 0725-6868

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Following the launch of Kodak's lightweight cine camera in c. 1923, early amateur cine enthusiasts soon featured among the growing numbers of people able to afford overseas visits. As the Mediterranean rapidly regained its pre-war popularity as a travel destination, evidence of its more militarised character and strategic significance recur in the glimpses of veterans and uniformed service personnel, vessels, medals and border securities found in interwar amateur film footage. Deliberate filming of discord is much rarer and gives particular value to the focus here upon the work of an amateur filmmaker who visited Spain during the Civil War on behalf of the Society of Friends (Britain's Quaker movement). The article discusses scenes of relief work, people queuing at feeding centres and refugee movements, and places the footage within a wider consideration of filmic responses to the Civil War and international relief operations. The relevance of such amateur imagery for its contemporary home audience is also explored, in relation to prevailing perceptions of the Mediterranean and, more widely, within a context of socially engaged filmmaking that links to strong British documentary making traditions during the interwar years. Discussion forms part of a broader study of Mediterranean imagery shot by British home movie makers during the 1920s and 1930s and recently studied at the North West Film Archive, Manchester Metropolitan University and at the British Film Institute, London.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DP Spain
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2012 11:25
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 20:58


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