Directed by Alain Resnais and Robert Hessens

14 minutes / B&W
French / English subtitles
Release: 2021
Copyright: 1949

In 1937, Spanish nationalists called on Nazi and Italian Fascist forces to bomb the Basque town of Guernica. The horrors of the bombing led Pablo Picasso to create perhaps his greatest work, “Guernica”: a massive painting powerfully representing the horrors of war.

Recently restored and digitized, GUERNICA is a short film featuring paintings, drawings and sculptures made by Picasso between 1902 and 1949. Accompanying the artworks is a dramatic piece by surrealist poet Paul Eluard, read by actor Maria Casares. In the first few minutes of the film, Picasso’s deeply human drawings evoke daily life. Then comes the bombing, with lives shattered and destroyed. Here, the focus is on “Guernica” itself, as the film spotlights details of the painting over a frenzied and disturbing score.

GUERNICA is one of a series of impressive short films on art made by the great French New Wave director Alain Resnais, early in his career. The Oscar-winning VAN GOGH and PAUL GAUGUIN are also available from Icarus Films.

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Select Accolades

  • Punta del Este Film Festival 1952


Five newly restored early short film masterpieces from the legendary filmmaker.

Alain Resnais | 2022 | 80 minutes | Color | French | English subtitles

An exploration of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

Alain Resnais | 1956 | 21 minutes | French | English subtitles

Paul Gauguin's life, from Brittany to Tahiti, is illustrated by his paintings and extracts from his diary.

Alain Resnais | 2021 | 13 minutes | French | English subtitles

The film charts the life and spiritual odyssey of one of the great modern painters purely through use of his paintings.

Alain Resnais | 1948 | 18 minutes | French | English subtitles