Hearts of the World

Live piano accompaniment by Yakov Gubanov
Screening on Film
Directed by D.W. Griffith.
With Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Dorothy Gish.
US, 1918, 35mm, black & white, silent, 118 min.

Following the success of Intolerance, Griffith was commissioned by the British government to craft a film which would encourage U.S. entry into World War I.  Hearts of the World follows the travails of two American families living in France who are drawn into the horrors of battle when Germany invades France and bombards their once-tranquil village. Lillian Gish stars as Marie, the plucky daughter who falls for Douglas, her neighbor. The idealistic couple is forced to postpone their planned nuptials when he volunteers for the French army and risks his life battling the Germans. More than mere propaganda, the film ranks as one of Griffith's greatest achievements thanks to his honest depiction of war and its toll.

Part of film series

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In The Trenches: Filming World War I