Plot & Details
This excellent documentary fills a gap in American history. It illustrates the role of thousands of Americans who left the safety of the United States at the end of the 1930s to fight against fascism in Spain. About 40,000 foreign volunteers from 50 countries were in the International Brigade, and the American Abraham Lincoln Brigade was a small part of that larger corps. The story of the American involvement is told with historical footage, newsreels, still photos, and other media, as well as interviews with survivors from the fighting. The soldiers who returned after the 1939 defeat of the Spanish Loyalists by Francisco Franco were blacklisted and unjustly accused of being Communists (there were many Communists in the International Brigade, and American Communists were among the leading opponents of fascism at the time). Many of the soldiers suffered for daring to fight for American ideals against a rising fascist army supported by Mussolini and Hitler. Interviews with a few of these soldiers reveal that some feel the Spanish Civil War bought time for the Western nations to prepare for World War II, others feel that the defeat of democracy in Spain was symptomatic of a repeating historical truth: the forces of greed and power regularly defeat humanistic aspirations and ideals.