Marshall Plan filmmakers created a sense of drama in nearly all of their films, including the documentaries, which often were partially staged docudramas. The Marshall Plan also commissioned full-fledged fiction films. The third program illustrates both approaches. The Story of Koula (16mm, 21 minutes) is a winning film about a small Greek boy trying to tame a giant American mule. Aquila (35mm, 21 minutes) is a beautiful example of early Italian neo-realism. The Promise of Barty O’Brien (16mm, 39 minutes) is a scripted drama, performed by Dublin’s famous Abbey Theater players. The Smiths and the Robinsons (video, 19 minutes), a comedy about the slight gradations in the British class system, also uses professional actors. Two British couples on rations covet what the other has; meanwhile, even the woefully out of shape are called to devote their weekends to civil defense training. Let’s Be Childish (35mm, 20 minutes) is set in an alpine resort where families from all over Europe gather, and it’s the children who overcome the babel of languages in this delightful ode to the future of Europe.
Post-screening discussion: Dr. Lary May, professor of American studies; and Dr. Theofanis Stavrou, professor of history and director of modern Greek studies