The film “Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning” will air tonight at 9 p.m. on WITF. The film by her granddaughter Dyanna Taylor is a documentary of Lange’s life as a photographer who helped define the concept of photojournalism with her images of the depression era. Her photograph of a 32 year old migrant worker mother and her children is one of the most iconic B&W photographs of the great depression.
Lange’s photographs for the Farm Security Administration were a documentation of the people and landscapes of America in the late 1930s. A former portrait photographer in San Francisco, she started documenting bread lines and union demonstrations there before the FSA hired her to document the sharecroppers and displaced families.
The film shows Lange’s photographs from the FSA project and also her documentation of internment camps of Japanese-Americans during WWII and other works. Influenced by her grandmother’s life and works the film’s director has herself become a documentarian. The film reveals personal insights into her grandmother’s
life and previously unseen journals and photographs.