Thursday, November 18, 2010

Robert Drew

Robert Drew's Yanki No! had a remarkable team of filmmakers including Richard Leacock, Albert Maysles, and D.A. Pennebaker. The film aired on ABC in December of 1960 as part of the Bell & Howell Close Up series. Observational footage of a wide range of people and places in Latin America demonstrated the power of documentary images to convey the region's anti-American popular opinion. Latin American activists were aware of the impact of American television: one Venezuelan official pointedly tells the cameramen go out to the slums and film there (and they do). Yanki No! cuts from erudite conversations to crowded rallies, with many "face in the crowd" close-ups. In Havana, for example, a young woman (top still) and a Russian sailor (middle) speak to the filmmakers. The climactic scene in the film shows Fidel Castro in his heyday (bottom still).
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Documentary Starts Here by Nancy Kalow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.