‘Treasures’ tackles social issues

DVD set features earth-20th century works

The third DVD set in the National Film Preservation Foundation’s “Treasures From American Film Archives” series will feature 48 early-20th century works that tackled social issues.

Four-disc collection “Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934,” skedded for October release, includes newsreels, cartoons and documentaries as well as feature pics. Topics include atheism, the women’s suffrage movement, a small town’s fight against tuberculosis, as well as looks at the Mafia, police corruption, worker safety and homelessness.

Among the more sensationalistic works will be “The Godless Girl,” Cecil B. DeMille’s 1928 expose of juvenile reformatories.

“In film’s first decades, activists from every political stripe used movies to advance their agenda,” said helmer Martin Scorsese, an NFPF board member, in a statement. “These films are an important and fascinating glimpse of history. They changed America and still inspire today.”

None of the works has ever been available in high-quality video, the foundation said. Material is drawn from preservation work done by George Eastman House, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Archives and the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Funded jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, the 12-hour collection includes a 200-page booklet as well as interactive media and will retail for $89.99. Proceeds will go toward furthering film preservation, the foundation said.

More information, including a list of all 48 works, is available online at Filmpreservation.org.

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