Sam Brody

Lawyer, Film cinematographer

– 1987


Who was Sam Brody?

Sam Brody was a founding member of the Workers Film and Photo League, an independent organization founded in 1931 to produced and present films documenting the Great Depression from a Marxist perspective. He is also known for his work as a photographer and film critic, and for his 15 year relationship with New York City painter Alice Neel.

Born on January 1, 1907 to Russian Jewish immigrant parents in England, Brody was raised in London, Paris, Richmond and New York City. In 1927 he married artist Claire Gebiner with whom he would have two children before the marriage ended in 1941. A son Julian was born in 1930 and a daughter Mady in 1937.

Brody took an early interest in political activism and documentary films. In May, 1930 he wrote in The Daily Worker what would become a rallying cry for left wing filmmakers:

“I want once more to emphasize the newsfilm is the important thing; that the capitalist class knows that there are certain things that it cannot afford to have shown. It is afraid of some pictures ....”

“Films are being used against the workers like police clubs, only more subtly-like the reactionary press.

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  • United States of America

on July 23, 2013


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