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May 24, 2010

Filmmaker Jean Bodon Will Show “Leon Blum: For All Mankind” And Discuss Film at the Library of Congress on June 16

In the 1930s and 1940s, Leon Blum was a Jew who, at different times, was prime minister of France and a prisoner in the Buchenwald concentration camp.

The Library of Congress will present the film "Leon Blum: For All Mankind" and a lecture by the filmmaker, Jean Bodon, at noon on Wednesday, June 16 in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence S.E., Washington, D.C. The film is in French with English subtitles.

Sponsored by the Library’s European Division and the Hebrew Language Table, with the cooperation of the Embassy of France, the event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

Blum, the first socialist and first Jew to be prime minister of France, devoted his life to improving the well-being of French workers and was an early champion of women’s rights. In 1936, he became prime minister, and during his time in office, he led the Popular Front, an alliance of left-wing movements. In 1940, his socialist views and Jewish heritage placed him in jeopardy. The Vichy government sentenced him to five years in Buchenwald. After World War II, Blum was welcomed home by the French people and was reelected prime minister in 1946.

Bodon is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He teaches courses in television production, cinema and broadcasting. In 2000, he was honored with the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Bodon has worked professionally as a feature film director and producer and as a director of documentaries and television commercials. He recently line-produced a 13-episode series on great film directors. "The Directors" is currently being broadcast on Encore. In 1992, he directed his first feature film, "Hidden Fears," which won him a Hall of Fame Gold Star at the Brussels Film Festival. In 1993, he produced "Seven Sundays," which was directed by Academy Award nominee Jean Charles Tacchella.

Bodon’s extensive work in the area of film also includes a book on Charlie Chaplin, which was prefaced by the late Francois Truffaut, and "Cinema: An Introduction," prefaced by Robert Wise.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 145 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

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PR 10-126
05/24/10
ISSN 0731-3527

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