Her celebrated photograph The Migrant Mother is one of the most recognized and arresting images in the world, a haunting portrait that came to represent the suffering of the Great Depression. Yet few know the story of the woman who created the portrait: Dorothea Lange. Directed and narrated by Lange’s granddaughter Dyanna Taylor, herself an award-winning filmmaker, Grab a Hunk of Lightning explores the uncompromising vision of the woman behind the camera, whose enduring images document five turbulent decades of history: striking workers, destitute migrants fleeing the ravaged Dust Bowl, Japanese Americans forced into internment camps. Taylor combines intimate family memories and journals with extensive scholarship and never-before-seen footage to bring Lange’s life and work, triumphs and pain, into sharp focus.
One of the great documentarians of her time, photographer Dorothea Lange is best known for her raw and powerful portrayals of the people affected during America’s struggles in the early-to-mid 1900s. Throughout her career, Lange used her photography to document the story of migrants fleeing across the US, those affected by economic hardships and the Japanese Americans forced into internment camps.
All images by Dorothea Lange and courtesy of the US National Archives.