Our spring film series consists of four classic films of Black Cinema and leads off with Lost Boundaries, an extraordinary Hollywood release from 1949 that is now largely forgotten. The film is based on the true story of Dr. Albert C. Johnston and his family who passed for white in a small New England town in the 30s and 40s. Amazingly, Dr. Johnston and his wife didn’t even tell their kids!!! Though it’s stylistically dated by modern standards and does take some liberties with the real facts (especially with the son’s reaction to the news that he was “a negro”), this movie was groundbreaking in 1949 and pulls no punches with themes that still resonate in 2016.
Among its honors is that the cities of Atlanta and Memphis banned it (“We don’t take that kind of picture here.” said the Memphis board of censors!)
From a 1949 Ebony magazine article:
Heralded by its producers as ‘a story that is certain to make motion picture history for its daring, for its dramatic impact, for its truth, Lost Boundaries …[is a ]…remarkable documentary chronicle of a Negro family that “passed'”for two decades in a small New England town. For the most part the film lives up to its advance billing. Not only is the picture exciting entertainment on a provocative theme but its script is also a fairly faithful dramatic translation of the book…
$5 suggested donation at the door
Discussion will follow
Light snacks included