Title ID 7065Collection ID985
TitleLand of Exile [Fundraising Film about Spanish Refugees]
CollectionOckenden Venture
ThemeWartime and Military
KeywordsWorkers Horticulture Farming Children Charities Social Problems Buildings Houses Communities Wars Visual Arts Rural Areas Urban Areas
LocalParis Montauban Toulouse Perpignan
NationalFrance Europe
ProductionMark Mac
DirectorNicholas Macdonald
Commissioning bodySpanish Refugee Aid Inc.
Other creditsElspeth Macdonald, Mark Woodcock
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration14 min. 25 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A documentary made for Spanish Refugee Aid Inc., employing still photographs, film footage and intertitles, to tell the stories of Spanish refugees living in France in the 1960s.


"This film was made for Spanish Refugee Aid Inc. Mark Mac presents... Land of Exile, the story of Spanish refugees today. Photographs courtesy of the Robert Capa estate. Dedicated to the people of this movie: to their fight against tyranny, to their strength and optimism born of defeat and exile."

Photographs of Spanish refugees walking across the Pyranees and into French camps in 1939, after the Spanish Civil War follow views of mountains. A monument reads "Aux Morts du Camp D'Argeles", listing names below. Signs read Riversaltes, Le Barcares, Bram, Septfonds, Angouleme...

"Spanish Refugee Aid Inc. has offices in France at Paris, Montauban and Toulouse." The camera pans across river Seine running through Paris. Intertitle reads "SRA's Paris staff with Nancy Macdonald, secretary of SRA. Honorary chairman: the self-exiled Pablo Casals and Salvador de Madariaga."

Views of Montauban follow, panning across a residential area. In a reading room [?], people read newspapers. Intertitle reads "A house, dated 1643, in which some refugees live." The dilapidated building is seen in close-up and from across the street.

"Juan and his family at work as sharecroppers." A family is seen at work on a plot of land, using a motocultor [?]. Juan has lost one arm. His boys help him work the land and his wife waters the plot with a hose. "Lorenzo at work", "Franciso, alone in a small village" and "Celso and his family at home" follow. An old woman makes lace to sell.

In Toulouse, elderly men walk together along narrow residential passageways. The poor state of the pavement and the crumbling walls are seen in close-up. "Some Spaniards work in a mattress-making cooperative." A man works a machine that makes the down [?] and fills the mattress with the material. A woman sews the mattress while a man builds a wooden frame with springs. The finished mattresses are shown.

At Perpignan, "Antonio lost both his legs in the war. He makes sculptures from animal bones." He uses a wheel chair to move around. He shows the camera his detailed model of Notre Dame, three feet high and eight foot long.

A series of unmoving camera shots of individual refugees close-up closes the film. "These refugees live, some old, some sick, some disabled, far from their country." "The End MCMLXV"