Friday, April 17, 2015


This PBS documentary—CHILDREN OF GIANT—is not only moving, it's enlightening. Director Hector Galan uses the sixtieth anniversary of Hollywood descending on the small Texas town of Marfa to film the 1956 Academy Award winning film GIANT to explore historic anti-Mexican and anti-Mexican-American attitudes of the "Anglos" who for generations supported prejudice and animosity as well as segregation of "Anglos" and "Mexicans."

It's a very smart approach to opening a different kind of window on what is often overlooked in discussions of "race" and "class" in "America." A lot of fascinating and important history in this documentary that I suspect might be more palatable to a wider audience because of the glamor of GIANT'S stars and their own subsequent personal tragedies (the first of which was James Dean's death in a car accident while GIANT was being edited).

I'd love to see more projects like this, using other Hollywood classics to explore important social and political issues through the filter of the experience of real people who were a part of the filmmaking, even if only as background. A brilliant way to engage an audience in understanding often forgotten or overlooked or unknown but meaningful historic realities.

If you can call up your PBS channel shows on demand, or if it runs again next week, be sure to catch CHILDREN OF GIANT.

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