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David MacDougall

objectives was Power and the Land ( 1940 ), a film commissioned by the US government’s Rural Electrification Administration. The aim was to demonstrate that bringing electricity to American farmers would result in social progress. The benefits would exceed the costs and would also indirectly benefit electrical appliance manufacturers. As directed by Joris Ivens, previously known as a radical filmmaker, the film did just this, creating an idealised farm family whose lives are vastly improved by the introduction of

in The art of the observer