Cinema: The War of Heroes

To Die in Madrid is a 90-minute documentary knit into a tragedy—the story of the Spanish people during the scarring years (1936-39) of the civil war. To make it, French Producer-Director Frédéric Rossif drew on English, French, Russian, German and U.S. newsreels, molding his material into an elegiac whole, a powerful work of art.

Rossif is plainly with the Republicans. As the film opens the camera moves slowly over the land, while the commentary, narrated, among others, by John Gielgud and Irene Worth, begins: "Twenty-four million people ... 12 million illiterate . . ....

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