In 1939, The Country Was Counting on Greenbelt

At the New York World’s Fair of 1939, a film about Greenbelt was screened for the first time as a study of a new kind of city.   Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” the movie contrasts the evils of industrialized America vs. the idyllic conditions of small-town America, as symbolized by the newly planned city, Greenbelt.

 

Produced by The Regional Planning Association of America, with funding from the Carnegie Foundation, “The City” leveraged much of the talent that was employed by FDR for his popular government films of the 1930s:  Pare Lorenz, Lewis Mumford, Aaron Copeland.  Promoting a utopian vision that was at the heart of Greenbelt’s establishment in 1937 (built from scratch on old tobacco farmland), this amazing document put Prince George’s County at the center of American thought and vision.

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