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tv   Reel America The Bridge - 1944  CSPAN  May 15, 2021 10:00pm-10:36pm EDT

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and political importance of latin america to the united states the film highlights mineral and agricultural riches of the region and details the problems of poverty and inadequate transportation. the bridge is part of ♪
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>> the sun is rising over a battlefield. over the atlantic ocean. beyond the horizon like other battlefield, europe and asia. the sun moves west, toward the two americas. mountain and lake and plane, that lies 1000 miles further east than the ark. lies closer to europe in the northeast than to the knighted states in the northwest. it is not one place, it is 1000 places. light strikes the palms, morning begins over a continent. ♪
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it is not one place, it is 1000 places. the sun flashes down the harbor of rio de janeiro. the continent of south america, not mountain and the jungle alone, but great cities. buenos aires, the third largest city in the western hemisphere. 2000 miles to the northwest, the summit glimpse across the mighty amazon. in caracas, soldiers in the barracks begin their day. high in the andes, in peru, the sun touches the inca ruins, reminders of a civilization that florist before the coming of the conquistadors.
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-- that flourished before the coming of conquistadors. the new civilization of south america works and lives and trades the rest of the world. turning her back on the past, she looks to europe and north america. before the war, the trade of south america with europe was nearly $1 billion per year. trade with united states was less. south america sold raw materials to europe and used money to buy manufactured goods. there was much trade between europe and the united states. thus, a triangle of trade was elected -- erected between three continents. this relationship was not a simple one. the variety of climate and resources produced a variety of trade. the caribbean, largely tropical, produced coffee, sugar, chewing gum and bananas. 50% of the trade of this area was with united states. the west coast, mountainous and
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dry, produced cotton, cocoa, and minerals. only one quarter of its trade went to the united states. the amazon of brazil sold manganese, cocoa and coffee to the united states but a great deal more coffee and cotton to europe. the temperate area of argentina, uruguay and paraguay, reduced wheat, corn, and will. it sent these -- wool, and it sent these products almost entirely to europe until the second world war began. the guns of destroyers and torpedoes of summaries struck at the strangle of trade until it broke, until the broken ends quelled back on south america to strangle it with the death of trade. here lies silent ships, german ships, burned either own crew. italian ships, covered with
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seaweed. they are experts at destruction, but there europe can no longer trade with south america. their ships hold nothing but ashes. month by month, the weight of surpluses began to pile up. the cotton of peru, the cotton of brazil, cotton once used on looms of europe, bale after bale, each bail of cotton a field of cotton could -- each bale, a field of cotton. ♪ cotton, which south america needs and needs badly, but cannot use, does not have the machines to use, to weave 1/10 of its own cotton. the new warehouse is filled to the roof with sacks of coffee, the art years of war, 1939, 19 40, 1941, 1942 by 1943, one
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billion cups of coffee. a product of agriculture that grows nothing but one single crop. the pompous of argentina with a climate like our midwest grow beef, wheat, corn, but today, only beef is taken. england needs at. it goes over at any cost. the weight ripens too long in the fields, and is dumped back into the silence of granaries, two hundred million bushels of surplus per year. countries which append for their life on one or two or three crops, feed these crops at last only to rats in the field. the corn is stored outdoors with no more room in the warehouse. will this food ever be eaten? who knows. it is corn the united states does not need that europe cannot get.
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corn has dropped to one cent per bushel, cheap. corn can be bought by the wagon load, left on the cob until it grows dry and hard in the sun. ♪ the corn of argentina is being used as fuel, for the furnaces of factories. south america needs this food but cannot get at. she lacks trains, roads, talks, to move it. and in europe, there is water. blacksmith burns corn on his forge. the surpluses of south america are burning. but other fires burned in south america, night and day. the fires of industry. ♪
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the united states is at war. the united states needs masses of raw materials to forge into weapons. asia and africa are far away. the united states looks to south america. under the soil lie pools of high-grade oil. new wells go down night and day, wells to the plight new oil to american fighters. ♪ the new well begins to pump. at first, there is nothing, only the yellow mud that smells of kerosene. but in half an hour, there is oil, rich oil, prospected and drilled and pumped out of the
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virgin jungle of eastern venezuela. and in the chilean desert life . once more they are blasting nitrate out of the desert night -- desert. nitrate and i died, bismuth and antimony, the ore is blasted and is great and out of south america. from minds three miles high, beryllium, vanadium, tungsten, flat cars loaded with tin down from the plateau of bolivia to the seaports of the united states. and in the cordillera of chile where the hills of solid copper , ore in the largest open mine in the world, there is a warning. [horn blows] then, silence.
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[blasting] day and night, the copper is blasted out. copper is needed for shells and bullets, for gun parts, and radios. the war room is on. -- the war boom is on. ♪ the metals needed by the united nations, copper and lead and magnesium, reach new levels of intense production. sheets, bars, and gets, aluminum or, sheets of mica, industrial diamonds and rare metals, and raw goods of every kind, pouring out of south america. moving biplanes? , and truck for the factories of war. -- moving by planes and it talks for the factory -- planes,
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steamer, and truck, for the factories of war. it is still mourning over south america. but there is no war boom here. there's only one road into this town. there is only a market. nine out of 10 in south america live near towns like this. nine out of 10 have never seen a mine. they live by the earth and labor of their hands. their lives have always been hard. nothing changes here, but the faces on the coins. ♪
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the people of south america are as fine and capable as any in the world. but their beauty is weakened by disease. and their children, to, many will die before they can read. -- and their children too, many of them will die before they can rate. in this market -- before they can read. in this market, meet is transported and sold in the open without refrigeration. there is no ice and no means of making ice. in this market the cheapest food is still the food of the indians, potatoes, yucca, and starchy roots. being poor, this is what most south americans eat. ♪ potatoes, dry corn, kernels of starch to be ground into bread. that is what is sold.
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that is what is bought, and every south american town, this morning. the morning passes. corn is ground on a stone mortar. the midday meal is being prepared. ♪ mother needs water. there is no source of water in the house. her oldest daughter takes the canned, goes half a mile, to the town pump. the utensil which the daughter carries has great advantages. it is unbreakable at a leaks only a little. it is the product of an american oil company, but this family has no use for the oil turn -- no use for the oil. ♪
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the meal is ready. it is potatoes, squash, yucca. there is plenty of hot start, but the vitamin content is not very great. no green vegetables, neither cooked nor. -- nor raw. no whole grains, and no milk. the baby gets sugar and water.
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in the father's plate, there will be a portion of black meat. so, the meal and -- ends, and after they begins, and work begins again. they are making pack saddles for meals because only meals connect this town with the world around it. 300 years ago, a woman like this, was making saddles exactly like this, without tools, out of straw, woven with bare hands. the people of south america, in the great majority, left not by wheel and gear and kilowatt, but
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by hand and foot and back. using bone tools, taking weeks and weeks to weave a single garment. the productivity of such labor is very low. only in the last generation, has weaving by hand given way, a little, to weaving by machine. machines can make 100 yards while the weaver makes one. machines that can make clothes out of the surplus cotton of south america. ♪ bright new factories making cloth, textiles, paper. even cement and glass. new thousands of industrial workers, but they are only thousands. the millions of south america still worked in the old way work on the land scratching the earth with slow oxen and a wooden , plow.
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under the hooves of horses, the grain is thrashed. the chaff is thrown to the wind with a wooden fork. this is the agriculture of 1000 years ago. the fields of wheat lie beautiful, in the afternoon light. but beyond them, is erosion, increasing like a disease. this country, a farmer will say, yes, there was good land in this valley. but it was plowed too often. now there was always too much water or too little water, and sometimes no seed will take root. ♪ the sun is bright. the air is good. but the rate of illness is high. the chief disease? malnutrition. everywhere in the world somehow,
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the face of poverty is the same. how will this girl grow up? into what kind of south america? perhaps the answer is here, in the continent itself. while the great centers of population are in argentina, in coastal brazil, in central chile , and in the high plateaus of the end days, our vast agricultural -- high plateaus of the andes, the our vast agricultural areas still unused. venezuela has many thousands of square miles. colombia, ecuador, bolivia, peru , and brazil has the region of the amazon. in these unused lands lies the agricultural future of south america. but they are not easy to use.
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they are warm, flat, rich. they have abundant water. too much water. they are covered with stubborn jungle. and they are sparsely populated. in some areas, as little as one family per square mile. and here once more there are few tools of any kind. ♪ [1940's symphonic music] ♪ around them, is the silence of the jungle, a land without winter. brooding place of plant, animal, and human diseases, hot and moist, crawling with life and the enemies of life. with insects that can devour a crop, from roots to leaves. ♪
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how can this land be conquered? can this house become a city? are there tools to do the job? the tools are still in the ground, unknown, unused, that wealth of south america still lies enclosed in stone. in peru, and to let, venezuela, brazil, a billion tons of iron ore, and all the metals of the world. and enough waterpower to electrify the continent. with these resources, south america can open the doors of the 20th century. the steel is ready, that will
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go not to pittsburgh, lancaster or yokohama. but steel to be forged into machines for south america, to be delivered into the arms of the future. from the united states, and from these south american shops, will come the machines that will convert the unknown and undeveloped areas, into human years. convert kotten into clothing, rubber into tires, steel into machines to make machines. half of south america is a wild frontier, not enough roads, men, tools. the work has just begun. the work of road builders, the work of health engineers, the work of soil experts. the work of planting in the new fields of the amazon valley. ♪
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[triumphal music] the seeds are those of rubber. the young tree has the kind of root that will resist disease. but it yields little rubber so the bud of another variety of tree whose root is weak but whose trunk gives a high yield of rubber latex is grafted onto the healthy root. seven years of care by indian
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workmen of the plantation. and out of the amazonian forest comes the full yield of liquid rubber. science can make the jungle straight, make it el, not 1 -- make it yield, not one crop but many. oranges as well as industrial rubber, pineapples as well as rice and cut cow -- cacao, and all of the known vegetables of the world. when the richness of south american soil bears the full harvest, not of one or two crops for export only, but all variety of human food, when the farms of south america are planned to feed men and not ships, then the children of this continent will have something to inherit. but, none of these things are complete. they have just been started.
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no measures of industrialization or of improvement for agriculture no measures to raise , the living standards of the south american people are possible without transportation . there are some railways, mostly in argentina. but the mileage is smile, and sometimes key links are broken for months at a time. the network of highways is small and roads are often washed away in the rainy season. there are steamer routes but mostly to other continents. the vastness of the continent is still impenetrable. the great rivers of the amazon system sometimes as wide as 200 , miles are still used mostly by , small craft, by native canoes, or not used at all. ♪
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the jungle still remains untamed and unused. the western desert, dry and dangerous is a storehouse of , metals and chemicals. one railroad and one highway across the length of its 2,000 miles. ♪ roads have been cut and twisted across the cold passes of the mountains. but the roads are few. the andes still hold like a wall the second highest in the world ,. ♪
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to build any road here is a trick of engineering acrobatics. it is not easy to drive along these cliffs, to follow the chasm of these twisted rivers . the vehicle must be short. the motor powerful, the load, not too great. to travel 10 miles in air distance, there may be 100 miles of curves and raids -- grades. it is not easy to base an economy on roads like these. because you cannot go fast, you cannot go far. the corn of argentina burns and the coffee of brazil rots while each valley tries to live alone . the things people need are still carried on the backs of meals.
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-- on the backs of mules. ♪ the long afternoon of south america is measured out by the hooves of your -- mules, by the feet of men too poor to buy shoes. the freight of south america still goes on the backs of a man, a woman, a child. while this woman climbs, five centuries past. and above her head, there stands a bridge, the bridge of air itself, that springs toward the future. no area in the world is self-sufficient. and the greatest amount of trade has always been between the most industrialized countries. air transport will bring any place in the world within 60 air hours of south america.
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♪ let us watch the future, as it begins. what will go up with this enormous plane? is it farm tools, fertilizer, tested seeds? it will carry as much in one year, as 100 tracks, -- 100 tru cks, 10,000 mules. is a books, charts, microscopes, for a new college? or whole tractors moving up to replace the last of the wooden
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plows? the plane is ready with its 20 tons of cargo. it takes off from santiago, lima, quito, from cities not yet built. ♪ workman of ecuador multiply this plane a thousand times. it skips the jungle, uses the shortcuts of the air. the indian of brazil will be the neighbor of a woman and a child, in cold peru, above their heads a motor flies and the softness , of the air.
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it can bring you what you need, south american. it can lift it over the deadly snow of the volcanoes. ♪ here, there are no obstacles of mountain, swamp or desert. here, there are no boundaries between country and country. the error itself can carry the traffic all the continents. the air is the bridge into the future. ♪ >> you can watch archival films on public affairs in their entirety on our weekly series, reel america, saturday at 10:00 p.m. and sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern, here on american history tv. >> sunday, on the presidency, we feature three programs hosted by monticello. here is a preview.
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>> how can we heal differences of opinion? how can we heal what is innate in mankind? to hold a difference of opinion? aristotle wrote about that millennia ago and suggested man is born with a dichotomous nature. those who are born to be cautious and concerned and not so anxious, to collaborate. and those who are born to welcome collaboration, and to be of an open and honest intention. how can we ameliorate that? we are doing it now. we are doing it now. all of us are doing it right now, meeting here together, and speaking with one and another. not standing at and opposite ends, simply welcoming that opposite end without further commentary or effort to bring us closer together. but to continue even at our opposite ends, to make that effort, to bring us closer together. this is learning. this is enlightenment.
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it means for all people. no maddow -- no matter how every generation may be bound by habits and customs and laws that do not appear to be conducive to the greater public happiness, the greater, good. what will get us there, to make it, the more applicable, for everyone, is conversation, open and free inquiry, good manners, and common decency. >> learn more about thomas jefferson and monticello sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, five pacific, here on american history tv. >> if you like american history tv, keep up with us during the week on facebook, twitter and youtube. learn what happened this day in history and see preview clips of upcoming programs. follow us at c-span history. ♪
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♪ >> american history tv, on c-span3. exploring the people and events that tell the american story, every weekend, sunday at 6:00 p.m. eastern come on american artifacts, tour of richard nixon's birthplace, located on the grounds of the richard nixon presidential library. and sunday at it :00 p.m. eastern on the presidency, three programs on thomas jefferson, on
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the president's view on education, and interpretation conversation between jefferson and abigail adams. and a tour of his gardens at monticello. exploring the american story, watch american history tv, this weekend, on c-span3. ♪ >> this is american history tv, featuring events, interviews, archival films, and visits to college classrooms, museums and historic places. exploring our nation's past every weekend, on c-span3. >> susan neiman is the author of "learning from the germans: race and the memory of evil," which -- she describes germany's reconciliation with its past -- world war ii. in particular world war ii.
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, up next, dr. neiman discusses what americans can learn from germany's experience as we confront our civil war past and the nation's confederate monuments. she is joined by michele norris, columnist for the washington post. the university of virginia's democracy initiative's memory project hosted this discussion and provided the video. dr. schmidt: welcome and greetings from charlottesville, virginia. thank you for joining the the university of virginia democracy initiatives memory project for our launch event today, this afternoon i'm jalane schmidt, associate professor of religious studies at the university of virginia. and i am the director of the memory project. the university of virginia democracy initiative integrates research, teaching, and public engagement on democracy by , bringing together a diverse range of scholars, government leaders, and practitioners, to study and advance the prospects of democracy in the united states and around the world. within the democracy initiative


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