Running time: 52 minutes
A joint event of The Orwell Society and Pushkin Club, including a film screening of the 1937 documentary by Louis Frank and talks by Miriam Frank on ‘My Father, Louis Frank’ and Masha Karp on ‘George Orwell and Emma Goldman’s mission in Britain’.
Louis Frank (1896-1986) was an American who had settled in Spain some ten years before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, during which he helped the Republican side with his journalistic and film making activities as a convinced anarchist supporter. In 1937, jointly with a Spanish film editor Juan Pallejá, he collected documentary footage, shot by different war correspondents since July 1936, and put it together adding an anarchist commentary. This was how ‘Fury Over Spain’ was created. It was this film that impressed the famous Russian-American anarchist Emma Goldman so much that she admitted to being obsessed with the desire to show it in Britain — at that time she acted as a representative of Spanish anarchists in London. The film was screened several times in London and also at the ILP (Independent Labour Party) Summer School in Letchworth on 6 and 11 August 1937, where George Orwell, who had just come back from Spain, was due to speak.
Miriam Frank, Louis Frank’s daughter, was born in Spain during the Civil War, spent her early years in Vichy France, went through primary school in Mexico and secondary school and university in New Zealand, where she graduated in medicine. She returned to Europe and settled in London, where she obtained her London Fellowship in Anaesthesia and was appointed Senior Lecturer and Consultant at the Royal London Hospital. Concurrent with her hospital work and since retiring, she has translated literary works from Spanish into English and launched into her own writing. Her autobiography, My Innocent Absence, Arcadia Books, was published in 2010, and its sequel, An Unfinished Portrait, Gibson Square Books, in 2017. Her books have been translated into French and Greek and published by Éditions De Fallois and Kapon Edition.
Masha Karp is a London-based journalist with a special interest in relations between Russia and the West. She is the author of the first Russian literary biography of George Orwell and is currently working on a new book George Orwell and Russia to be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2021. She is the Orwell Society committee member and the Editor of the OS Journal.
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