Pare Lorentz Film Center

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New social security web feature!

Image for New social security web feature!

In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act, the Pare Lorentz Center presents "Our Plain Duty," a web feature on the history and impact of social security in America. Now mobile device compatible!

Launch Our Plain Duty Web Feature
Image for The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936)

The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936)

Image for The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936)

A pioneering documentary film by Pare Lorentz. "It tells the story of the Plains and it tells it with some emotional value --an emotion that springs out of the soil itself. Our hero is the grass, our villain the sun and the wind, our players are the farmers living in the Plains country."

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The Critic Speaks Film Series

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We show classic and contemporary documentary films at the FDR Presidential Library, with commentary by critics and filmmakers.

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The Pare Lorentz Center

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The Pare Lorentz Center is dedicated to using media to teach history and social studies, and to perpetuating Lorentz’s belief in the documentary format for inspiring social and political awareness.

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Image for The Roosevelt Presidential Library

The Roosevelt Presidential Library

Image for The Roosevelt Presidential Library

The Roosevelt Presidential Library opened in 1941 as America’s first Presidential Library, within the National Archives and Records Administration. It contains more than 17 million pages of documents and is the world’s premier research center for the study Roosevelt era.

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The River

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Won Best Documentary at the Venice Film Festival in 1938, and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for poetry. The film highlights economic activity on America's most important rivers, blending poetic narration with artistic cinematography and an original score by composer Virgil Thomson.

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Rare Recording of Pare Lorentz

Image for Rare Recording of Pare Lorentz

Rare interview of Pare Lorentz, recorded on March 17, 1976.

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Using Media to Teach the Age of Roosevelt