Due to the high cost of bringing service to rural areas, in 1935 most farms in America still did not have electricity. The Rural Electrification Administration was formed to offer low-interest loans for the purchase of power, and to publicize the offer, the agency hired renown filmmaker Joris Ivens to create a documentary for national distribution. Cinematographer Floyd Crosby (High Noon) shot much of the footage and Walter Cronkite narrated a script written by Stephen Vincent Benet. Debuting in 1940, Power and the Land featured the real-life Parkinson family at their daily chores before and after modernization, and was a piece of quintessential, pro-progress Americana. But what was it like for the farming family to work with a professional film crew? And how did Mrs. Parkinson really feel about giving up her coal-burning stove? This program examines the making of Power and the Land, weaving together a history of filmmaking with a study of sociological issues that arose during an era of critical transition in American history.