Sam Brody, American Left-Wing filmmaker, photographer and critic.

“...the capitalist class knows that there are certain things that it cannot afford to have shown.  It is afraid of some pictures ...”

Sam Brody in The Daily Worker, May, 1930

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This site is the only authorized archive of Brody's films, photographs and writings.  It includes interviews and material related to the depression-era left-wing movement, as well as material on his time with Neel.

Sam Brody at Fordel Films

(Fordel Films)

Filmmaker Sam Brody was a founding member of the Workers Film and Photo League, an independent organization founded in 1931 to produce and present films documenting the Great Depression from a Marxist perspective.  He is also known for his work as a photographer and film critic, and for his relationship with renown New York City painter Alice Neel.

Workers Film and Photo League

Sam Brody’s FBI files (PDF’s) obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

A peak into the United States’ ugly history of suppressing political dissent:


FBI File 101 - 1408


FBI File 100 - 93268

Sam Brody talks with Tom Brandon about the Workers Film and Photo League

Tom Brandon, Film & Photo League member and pioneering film distributor behind The Museum of Modern Art Film Study Center’’s Thomas Brandon Collection conducted this filmed interview in Venice, California in the late 1970’s.  The screen is dark for the first minute and a half.

Sam Brody’s photographs of New York City taken as part of his time with the WPA Federal Writers Project.  1937-41. (Images in the New York City Municipal Archives.)

In 1943, when the WPA ceased operation, the Municipal Archives acquired the manuscript records of the NYC Unit of the Federal Writers' Project, including the photographs assembled to illustrate their publications; most notably the Guide to New York City and New York Panorama.

In 2018 the NYC Department of Records and Information Services held an exhibition of some of the 5,000 photographs in their collection in which Brody’s photographs were featured alongside those of Dorothea Lange and Berenice Abbott.  This fascinating blog posting about a forgotten part of New York City history on the Dept. website, includes other Sam Brody images.

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All of Sam Brody's photographs are published courtesy of the Sam Brody Estate and cannot be used without permission.

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