Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Ministerio de Cultura

Film info: When the World Breaks

Film Information

Original Title When the World Breaks
English Title When the World Breaks
Director Hans Fjellestad
Year 2010
Format Digibeta
Colour Color
Duration 84 min
  • Buzz Aldrin, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jerry Stiller, Phyllis Diller, Richard Anderson.
  • Guión: Hans Fjellestad, Joe Mundo, Jason Sallee
  • Fotografía: Hans Fjellestad
  • Montaje: Hans Fjellestad
  • Producción: Joe Mundo, Jason Sallee


Jean Cocteau had already noticed it: great films are made in troubled countries, and as soon as those countries bounce back, their creative standards get lower. Truth or not, this documentary takes on the 1929 crisis in the US and its consequences during the 1930s (and it doesn’t forget about its links to the current American crisis), but its issue is the creativity that sprung during those years in art, animation, literature, and cinema. It notices how art was something necessary, a chance to escape the crisis, a way of dreaming about solutions and facing the fear of the Great Depression. With true first-class archive footage and equally luxurious interviews to people who lived in that period –including Jerry Stiller, Ray Bradbury, and Robert Boyle (a legendary art director who died last year at age 100)–, Fjellestad puts together a smartly structured, high-profile, long-range documentary that takes us back to an especially rich period in American art within an especially troubled society. And so, When the World Breaks apparently proves the great Cocteau was right.

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