Ivens, Joris

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ivens, Joris


Born Nov. 18, 1898, in Nijmegen. Dutch film director.

Ivens’ early films are characterized by a search for a greater cinematographic expressiveness (The Bridge, 1928), a use of impressionistic imagery (Rain, 1929), and an attempt to show the poetry and beauty of constructive labor (Zuider Zee, 1930; New Earth, 1934). His travels in the USSR gave him a knowledge of the life of Soviet people, and his documentaries were influenced by S.M. Eisenstein, V.I. Pudovkin, and D. Vertov.

In 1932, Ivens directed Song of Heroes, a film about the builders of Magnitogorsk. His films of the 1930’s defended the interests of the working class and were devoted to the anti-imperialistic struggle for liberation of peoples in many nations. The films of that period include Borinage (1933), Spanish Earth (1937), and Four Hundred Million (1938).

During World War II (1939–45), Ivens worked on Our Russian Front (1941). He is the director of Indonesia Calling (1945), about the solidarity of the Australian longshoremen with the Indonesian people’s struggle for national independence, and The First Years (1947), about life in the socialist countries of Bulgaria, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. The struggle for peace is reflected in his films Peace Victorious Throughout the World (1951) and We’re for Peace! (1952, with I.A. Pyr’ev’ and A. Thorndike). In 1954 he directed the brilliant epic Song of the Great Rivers. For this film and his entire oeuvre, Ivens was awarded the International Peace Prize in 1955.

The Seine Meets Paris (1957) is another of Ivens’ contributions to the poetic documentary. He made a film about embattled Vietnam, The 17th Parallel, in 1968. His work has had an enormous influence on the development of documentary film art in many countries of the world. Ivens was awarded the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations in 1968. Several of his films have been awarded prizes at international film festivals.


Drobashenko, S. Kinorezhisser loris Ivens. Moscow, 1964.
Michalek, B. Sztuka faktow: Z historii filmu documentalnego. Warsaw, 1958.
Wegner, H. Joris Ivens. Berlin, 1965.
Grelier, R. Joris Ivens. Paris, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Ivanov-Vano, Ivan y Amalrik, Leonid: Blanco y Negro (1933, URSS); Ivens, Joris: Etude des mouvements a Paris (1927, Francia); Ivens, Joris: El puente (1928, Holanda); Ivens, Joris: Regen (1929, Holanda); Ivens, Joris: Sinfonia industrial [Philips Radio] (1931, Holanda); Ivens, Joris: Komsomol: el canto de los heroes (1933, URSS); Ivens, Joris: Nouvelle Terre (1933, Holanda); Ivens, Joris: Misere au Borinage (1934, Belgica);
Ivens, Joris. The Camera and L New York: International, 1969.