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Storytelling on Film: A Screening of Lost Boundaries, followed by a discussion with film historian Lawrence Benaquist, Ph.D.

1949, 99 mins, Not Rated

Presented by: New Hampshire Humanities


Wednesday, May 10, 5:30-8:00 pm


Based on the true story of Dr. Albert Johnston, a Black man and his family who passed as white in early-20th-century Keene – until they didn’t – Lost Boundaries illustrates New Hampshire’s complicated history of racial passing, which may have gone unheard if not for Louis de Rochemont, two-time Academy Award-winning producer and New Hampshire resident. Learn the story of how this 1949 groundbreaking film, winner of a Cannes Film Festival Award and the first mainstream Hollywood film to deal with the issue of racial passing, came to be made and how this African American family dealt with the humiliation of discrimination and segregation.

About the presenter: Lawrence Benaquist, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus, Keene State College (KSC) and founder of the film studies program at the college, a filmmaker, and a film historian. In 1989 he orchestrated the 40th Lost Boundaries reunion at KSC, which drew over 1,500 people. In attendance were members of the Johnston and de Rochemont families, the production team, and surviving actors from the film, including Mel Ferrer and Carleton Carpenter. National Public Radio, The Washington Post, and other news media provided in-person coverage, and in 1990, NHPBS produced a documentary on the event called Home to Keene: The Lost Boundaries Reunion.


image courtesy Seacoast Online

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