Photo Documentary: Dorothea Lange, Grab A Hunk Of Lightning

Photographer Dorothea Lange is best noted for the image titled “Migrant Mother”—a haunting portrait that came to symbolize the intense suffering caused by America’s Great Depression. Lange’s body of work contains a stunning collection of images that document some of the most difficult times in our history such as the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and the Japanese American internments camps of World War II. Although famous for these photographs, few know very much about the career and life of this great artist but Dyanna Taylor’s (Emmy award-winning cinematographer and granddaughter of Lange) new documentary sheds some light on the subject.

Set to premier on August 29th (9pm on PBS) the American Masters television documentary, Dorothea Lange: Grab A Hunk Of Lightning offers viewers an in-depth look at this talented and influential photographer. Taylor expertly weaves the story of her life from interviews with family, friends and colleagues including Lange’s son Daniel Dixon and her goddaughter (and biographer) Elizabeth Partridge. As well as journals, photos and film footage (images that have never been seen before) and newly discovered interviews with Lange from her Bay Area home studio. This is an adventure of artistic and deeply personal growth, the tale of a woman who used her camera with deep empathy and challenged a nation to know itself.

A DVD of Dorothea Lange: Grab A Hunk Of Lightning will be available on October, 21, 2014 from PBS Distribution and the companion book (from Chronicle Books) is on sale now.

More info on the documentary here.


Image: Dorothea Lange by Rondal Partridge.