Less than a month to go

It is less than a month to go before the start of the 23rd Graham Greene International Festival at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. If you haven’t already done so, you are urged to book your tickets for some or all of the events on the four days of the festival, 29 September – 2 October. More details are to be found on the Festival 2022 page.

One of the two films being shown this year is Across the Bridge, a British made thriller starring Rod Steiger. It is based on the Greene short story of the same name which was first published in his 1947 collection, 19 Stories. The setting can be identified as the border town of Laredo between Mexico and the USA which straddles the mighty Rio Grande. Greene stayed briefly in Nuevo Laredo, the Mexican part,  and the the bridge over the river which constitutes the border features prominently in the story. He was on his way to research religious persecution in Mexico which led in turn, of course, to the writing of The Power and the Glory.

Greene writes vividly about Nuevo Laredo and the contrasts with the US side of the border and one finds additional echoes of this experience in his travel book The Lawless Roads that preceded The Power and the Glory. It will be interesting to see if any traces of Greene’s wonderful depiction of place are to be found in the 1957 film.