American documentary filmmaker Saul Landau dead at age 77

LOS ANGELES Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:30am IST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Saul Landau, an American documentary filmmaker best known for his expose on atomic bomb testing and films on Cuba, has died from cancer, the Institute for Policy Studies, where Landau was a fellow, said on Tuesday. He was 77.

The Washington-based think tank said Landau died at his home on Monday.

Known as a champion of progressive and left-wing causes, Landau won the George Polk Award for Investigative Reporting and an Emmy with co-director Jack Willis for the 1980 film "Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang," about the health effects of 1950s U.S. atomic bomb testing in Nevada and a government cover-up.

Landau made more than 40 films throughout his career, many of which focused on Latin America, specifically Cuba and Argentina.

He made six films about Cuba, most notably the 1968 PBS documentary "Fidel" in which Landau accompanied Cuban leader Fidel Castro on a week-long jeep tour of the country.

He also directed two films released in 1971 about socialist Chilean President Salvador Allende, two years before he was ousted by military junta leader Augusto Pinochet.

Novelist Gore Vidal once quipped that the prolific Landau "is a man I love to steal ideas from."

Landau, who was a critic of consumer culture and globalization, was working on a film about homophobia in Cuba at the time of his death, the think tank said.

The filmmaker, who also taught at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, University of California-Santa Cruz and American University, has written 14 books and was a frequent contributor to newspapers and the Huffington Post website.

He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Switzer, and five children.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Eric Walsh)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

A Minute With


Jagger on James

Jagger on James

Mick Jagger talks about his friendship with the late James Brown.  Video 

'And So It Goes'

'And So It Goes'

Douglas, Keaton get second chance at love in 'And So It Goes'.  Full Article 

The littlest prince

The littlest prince

Prince George of Cambridge, third in line to succeed the British throne, celebrates his first birthday.  Slideshow 

Amy On Paper

Amy On Paper

Late singer Amy Winehouse has her life detailed in a new bio comic book.   Video 

Gershwin  for Joel

Gershwin for Joel

Singer Billy Joel to be honored with U.S. Gershwin Prize   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage