Red Republic, a short black-and-white film about Russia in the 1930s, was Margaret Bourke-White’s first (and last) attempt at filmmaking. Thanks to a donation of 20,000 feet of film by Kodak who expected an educational film in return, it was released along with the short travelogue
Eyes On Russia in 1934. Through this experience Bourke-White decided that her true talents laid with stills and she never made another film.
While Red Republic is not Bourke-White’s most inspired work, the highlight is Bourke-White’s appearance sprinkled throughout. Self-directed, fearless, and glamorous, she continues to inspire today. This short edited clip shows a glimpse of the photographer at work.
A very short film and it is hard to get a sense of her talent. Charming none the less and I welcome any opportunity to see the work of one of the greatest women photographers of the last century.
Hi, Nicolas. Thanks for your comment. She only appears in the film for a few moments, so unfortunately there is not more footage of her from this particular film.
Do you know if a copy of Red Republic exists? Is there a version at the International Center of Photography?
Yes, ICP has a version of the film.