American documentary filmmaker Saul Landau dead at age 77

American documentary filmmaker Saul Landau dead at age 77

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Saul Landau, an American documentary filmmaker best known for his expose on atomic bomb testing & 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 & left-wing causes, Landau won the George Polk Award for Investigative Reporting & an Emmy with co-director Jack Willis for the 1980 film “Paul Jacobs & the Nuclear Gang,” approximately the health effects of 1950s U.S. atomic bomb testing in Nevada & a government cover-up.

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

He made six films approximately 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 moreover directed two films released in 1971 approximately 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 & globalization, was working on a film approximately homophobia in Cuba at the time of his death, the think tank said.

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

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

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

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