The San Diego History Center needs your help to bring the documentary film The Journeys of Harry Crosby to the big screen.
Photographer Harry W. Crosby is a national treasure and a California legend whose explorations and landmark photography have been featured in classic books on the Baja Peninsula. Through his work, Crosby is almost single-handedly responsible for introducing the culture, history, and landscapes of Baja California to contemporary American audiences.
The Journeys of Harry Crosby from Cinewest Productions and award-winning filmmaker Isaac Artenstein captures the majesty of the Baja Peninsula and the breadth of Crosby’s groundbreaking work. The film crew retraced Crosby’s journeys across Baja California, recording spectacular landscapes of cactus forests, pine-clad mountains, desert canyons, and turquoise waters. The crew visited centuries-old colonial towns and stone clad missions with ancient vineyards and oases with date palm groves that yield fruit to this day.
The film crew traveled to mountain ranches that Crosby was only able to reach by mule half a century ago. There, Crosby had photographed vaqueros and their families herding cattle, tending orchards, crafting saddles, cooking, and making a variety of essential goods. Those marvelous black and white photos take us back in time, and served to illustrate his now classic book, “The Last of the Californios.”
The journeys in the film are interwoven with heartfelt interviews that include Crosby’s family members, long time collaborators and friends like Paul Ganster, Eve Ewing, Enrique Hambleton, Don Bartletti, and Miguel León Portilla.
Mexico honored Harry Crosby with a postage stamp for his pioneering photography and documentation of over 180 rock art sites painted by the peninsula’s original inhabitants. The resulting book, “The Painted Caves of Baja California” received international acclaim and is credited for helping to bring UNESCO World Heritage Site designation to the Sierra de San Francisco murals.
The film is now in post-production, having completed principal photography in late 2019. This immersive experience of history and landscape has been produced in collaboration with the San Diego History Center, with support from donors and the Secretary of Culture of Baja California. The San Diego History Center is now launching an IndieGoGo campaign to raise the final $30,000 to bring it to completion.