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Searching For Gerda Taro

A film by Camille Ménager

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The woman in the black-and-white photo is bent in a lunge, one knee on the ground. She wears shoes with heels and leans forward, a hand on her back for support, looking intensely past the barrel of the revolver in her hand.

This is one of hundreds of iconic images shot by photographer Gerda Taro during the Spanish Civil War. A war she would cover for only a year before she herself would die — the first female war photographer to be killed on assignment.

SEARCHING FOR GERDA TARO celebrates the life and work of Taro — a charismatic Jewish refugee from Germany, an anti-fascist, and a trailblazing photographer whose work would be forgotten for decades.

In 1935, Taro (then going by her birth name, Gerta Pohorylle), met Endre Friedmann, a Jewish photographer from Hungary trying to make a name for himself in Paris. They fell in love and moved in together. The next year, they changed their names to Gerda Taro and Robert Capa. Capa taught Taro photography. Taro in turn helped sell his photos and build his reputation. Together, they went to Spain to report on the civil war from the front lines. She captured the heroism of Republican fighters and documented the world’s first deaths of civilians from aerial bombardment.

SEARCHING FOR GERDA TARO shares dozens of stunning archival images by and of Taro. We come to understand her life and work through conversations with curators, authors, and descendants of those who knew her. For decades, her legacy was wrapped up with Capa’s, many of her photos seemingly lost. But with the discovery of thousands of her negatives in the mid-1990s, Taro can finally enjoy the credit she deserves as a brilliant photographer in her own right.

“Shines a new light on her role as a war photographer and artist.” —Barcelona Metropolitan

“This documentary is as fascinating in substance as it is elegant in form.” —Le Monde

“Recommended for courses in Spanish history, photography, and journalism.” —Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)

Video Librarian's Best Documentaries of 2023

58 minutes / Color
French; English; Spanish / English subtitles
Closed Captioned
Release: 2021
Copyright: 2020

For individual consumers (home video)

This title is available online from:

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

Subject areas:
Photography, Politics, war, Jewish Studies

Watch the trailer:

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