"Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe"

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Welcome!

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe is a new documentary by award-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmakers Kelly & Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, that tells the story of the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how these life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel.

This website will provide regular updates on the film project, historic tid-bits, a glimpse behind-the-scenes, premiere and release information, and how you can be a part of this fascinating journey. 

We are pleased to announce that Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe is partially funded by a grant from the Ohio Humanities, a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.  The fiscal sponsor for this documentary film project is Friends of the Harriet Beecher House.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed by the film do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Ohio Humanities.

Visit often and do spread the word about Becoming Harriet Beacher Stowe!


"Thunder" Celebrates Juneteenth

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On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with the announcement that tens of thousands of African-Americans had been emancipated and were now free.  The announcement came two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves in Confederate states. But because that proclamation was made during the Civil War, it was ignored by Confederate states and it wasn’t until the end of the war that the Executive Order was enforced in the South.

Newly freed slaves celebrated emancipation with “prayer, feasting, song, and dance”. The following year, the first official Juneteenth celebration was born.

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Sons & Daughters of Thunder
 tells the story of the beginning of the end of slavery in America in 1834--thirty-one years prior to the final act of emancipation of slaves in the U.S. 

This Juneteenth the Sons & Daughters of Thunder DVD is just $19, including FREE shipping for 48-hours only!

Order June 19-21, 2020 via the link below:

Thank you for supporting our ongoing American history filmwork.

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Happy 209th Birthday, Harriet Beecher Stowe!

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Harriet Beecher Stowe with her father Lyman Beecher.

209 years ago, on June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut, Harriet Elizabeth Beecher was one of thirteen children born to Presbyterian minister Lyman Beecher. Her mother, Roxanna Foote Beecher, died when she was just five years old. Harriet Beecher Stowe would go on to become a world-renowned American writer, staunch abolitionist, and one of the most influential women of the 19th century. She is best known for her anti-slavery best-selling 1852 novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

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Litchfield, Connecticut - birthplace of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

In honor of Harriet's 209th birthday, we are pleased to announce the August release of our new documentary Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe on DVD*!  For a very limited time you can PRE-ORDER the Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe DVD at the special price of $25 with FREE shipping.

In addition to the documentary, the DVD will contain Bonus Features including extended interview comments, filmmakers' commentary, and more!  Just click HERE for details.

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe, by award-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmakers Kelly & Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, tells the story of the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how these life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel.View the documentary teaser below (for a previous WQPT-PBS broadcast).

Happy birthday, Harriet Beecher Stowe!

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Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films' husband-and-wife team Kelly Rundle & Tammy Rundle focus on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

Other award-winning Fourth Wall Films titles include Country School: One Room - One NationGood Earth: Awakening the Silent CityThe Barn Raisers, Letters Home to Hero Street (with WQPT-PBS)River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (with McMarr, LTD.)Villisca: Living with a Mystery, Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, The Amish Incident, and the Lost Nation: The Ioway film series. All are available on DVD at http://fourthwallfilms.com/shop.html.

 


A Country at its Exasperation Point'... Again

1216501005.jpg.0Protesters in Cincinnati, Ohio marched with thousands across the nation for justice over the death of George Floyd and other black victims who have died at the hands of police brutality.

History has written that the first 19 or so African slaves arrived in Point Comfort, Virginia near Jamestown in August of 1619 on the White Lion, an English privateer commanded by John Jope. However, scholars believe it was much earlier, with captive Africans arriving in this country as early as 1526.

Here we are, having just released our documentary Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe, and our first docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunder, 186 years after the first public debates on the abolition of slavery took place at Lane Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio during the early part of 1834. Eighteen nights of contoversial oratory led to a mass exodus of Lane students (forever known as the "Lane Rebels") in a Free Speech protest following the school  trustees' gag order supressing any discussion of abolition. The debates also led to near riot conditions in the city.  Fast forward to 1852 when Harriet Beecher Stowe's best selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was released, and nine years after that to a bloody Civil War in which slavery played the central role, dividing the country, lasting four long years, and burying 618,222 souls.

Lane Rebels with LanternsAbolitionist Theodore Weld and the Lane Rebels in Fourth Wall Films' Sons & Daughters of Thunder.

186 years later, we find ourselves uniting in protest over the tragic death of George Floyd, and a long list of other black victims, who died at the hands of police brutality. All these decades later, still fighting racism, inequality, injustice, hate and white supremacy. 

7JHI4USWGREPVOWVWBXD2XPY2UProtesters in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"There have been uprisings against police brutality and racism before, but this is the country at its exasperation point," wrote Sean Collins of Vox.com. "Americans have come out nightly in nearly every US city to demonstrate for the past week. They’ve been attacked by police, tear-gassed, and arrested, and have marched shoulder to shoulder amid a deadly pandemic. Their demand: an end to racism, police brutality, and the attitudes and policies that allow both to exist. 

The protesters want change now.  And it is easy to see why: Systemic racism takes a physical, existential toll on communities of color... At the core of this rage is a legitimate fear for black Americans: the sense that they can be killed anywhere at any time by anyone, but especially by law enforcement. It is a feeling black Americans have carried for all of America’s history. And the fact that the feeling has persisted for so long, that it has passed through so many iterations — the casual and common brutality of slavery, the lynching terrorism that followed, the assassinations of the civil rights era, the police killings of today — has created a feeling of futility. That no effort, no matter how herculean — not marching a million people through the nation’s capital, not placing a black man at the head of government — will be enough."

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Protest in the Quad Cities. Photo KEVIN E. SCHMIDT, Quad City Times.

President George Bush stated: "America’s greatest challenge has long been to unite people of very different backgrounds into a single nation of justice and opportunity. The doctrine and habits of racial superiority, which once nearly split our country, still threaten our Union. The answers to American problems are found by living up to American ideals — to the fundamental truth that all human beings are created equal and endowed by God with certain rights. We have often underestimated how radical that quest really is, and how our cherished principles challenge systems of intended or assumed injustice. The heroes of America — from Frederick Douglass, to Harriet Tubman, to Abraham Lincoln, to Martin Luther King, Jr. — are heroes of unity. Their calling has never been for the fainthearted. They often revealed the nation’s disturbing bigotry and exploitation — stains on our character sometimes difficult for the American majority to examine. We can only see the reality of America's need by seeing it through the eyes of the threatened, oppressed, and disenfranchised. "

186 years later, we should not have to cry out that 'black lives matter'. It should be ingrained in us.  A no brainer.  A moral must.  That is why the Lane Rebels protested nearly two centuries ago, and Harriet Beecher Stowe was inspired to write her magnum opus Uncle Tom's Cabin. That is why the masses join around the world today shouting as one voice, "Enough is enough!"

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Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe, a new documentary film by Fourth Wall Films, explores the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how those life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel.

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

Other award-winning Fourth Wall Films titles include Country School: One Room - One NationGood Earth: Awakening the Silent CityThe Barn Raisers, Letters Home to Hero Street (with WQPT-PBS)River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (with McMarr, LTD.)Villisca: Living with a Mystery, Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, The Amish Incident, and the Lost Nation: The Ioway film series. All are available on DVD at http://fourthwallfilms.com/shop.html.


WGTE-PBS to air "Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe" in July

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Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe
, a new documentary by Mid-America Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, is slated to air on Toledo, Ohio's WGTE Public Media in July.  The date and time will be announced soon.

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe explores the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how those life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel.

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The documentary features interviews with Joan Hedrick, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life”; Philip McFarland, author of “The Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe”; historians Chris DeSimio, Christine Anderson, Ph.D., John E. Douglass, Ph.D.; John Getz, Ph.D., and Michelle Watts, Ph.D.

Production took place in Cincinnati, Piqua and Ripley, Ohio; Maysville, Kentucky; Litchfield and Hartford, Connecticut; Brunswick, Maine and Andover, Massachusetts.

The documentary project received a major grant from Ohio Humanities, a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.  Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House served as the fiscal sponsor for the grant.

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

Other award-winning Fourth Wall Films titles include Country School: One Room - One NationGood Earth: Awakening the Silent CityThe Barn Raisers, Letters Home to Hero Street (with WQPT-PBS)River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (with McMarr, LTD.)Villisca: Living with a Mystery, Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, The Amish Incident, and the Lost Nation: The Ioway film series. All are available on DVD at http://fourthwallfilms.com/shop.html.


Black Hawk College's presentation Cancelled until September

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The Black Hawk College's Lifelong Learner Lunch presentation of Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe  on Thursday, March 12 has been cancelled. The event will be rescheduled in September.

A statement was posted by the Black Hawk College:

Black Hawk College will be following the recommendations made by the CDC regarding the avoidance of events or situations where there are a large number of people present especially if the group is over 60 and may have underlying health conditions.  Because of that the lifelong learner lunch on Harriet Beecher Stowe that is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, March 12th) has been cancelled. 

The September rescheduled event will be posted here once arrangements are confirmed.

Black Hawk College Lifelong Learner Lunches are designed for anyone 55 years or better, but all adult learners are welcome.

Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE), Black Hawk College,301 Avenue of the Cities, East Moline, IL, 309-796-8254.

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

Other award-winning Fourth Wall Films productions include Sons & Daughters of Thunder, Country School: One Room - One NationGood Earth: Awakening the Silent CityThe Barn Raisers, Letters Home to Hero Street (with WQPT-PBS)River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (with McMarr, LTD.)Villisca: Living with a Mystery,  The Amish Incident, and the Lost Nation: The Ioway film series.


Black Hawk College's presentation of "Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe" fills to capacity

DSC_1061Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe director Kelly Rundle during a previous Black Hawk College sold out presentation of the Rundles' Emmy-nominated Country School: One Room - One Nation.

Pre-registration for Black Hawk College's special presentation of Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe filled to capacity before its March 4th deadline.  The new documentary by award-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films tells the story of the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Beecher Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850. After her move to Maine, she adapted her Midwestern experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel.

The documentary project received a major grant from Ohio Humanities, a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.  Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House served as the fiscal sponsor for the grant.

The screening event and luncheon will be held on Thursday, March 12 at 11:30AM at the Botanical Center in Rock Island, Illinois.  

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Black Hawk College Lifelong Learner Lunches are designed for anyone 55 years or better, but all adult learners are welcome.

Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE), Black Hawk College, 301 Avenue of the Cities, East Moline, IL, 309-796-8254.

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

Other award-winning Fourth Wall Films productions include Sons & Daughters of Thunder, Country School: One Room - One NationGood Earth: Awakening the Silent CityThe Barn Raisers, Letters Home to Hero Street (with WQPT-PBS)River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (with McMarr, LTD.)Villisca: Living with a Mystery,  The Amish Incident, and the Lost Nation: The Ioway film series.


New Documentary on Harriet Beecher Stowe's Transformative Ohio Years airs on WQPT-PBS

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Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe
, a new documentary by Mid-America Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, will air on WQPT February 9 at 9:30 p.m. The 30-minute film includes scenes from the Rundles’ docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunder featuring Jessica Taylor as Harriet Beecher Stowe, and numerous other acclaimed actors from the Quad Cities region.

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe explores the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how those life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel.

“We are very pleased that Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe will have its broadcast premiere on WQPT during Black History Month,” said producer Tammy Rundle.

The documentary features interviews with Joan Hedrick, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life”; Philip McFarland, author of “The Loves of Harriet Beecher Stowe”; historians Chris DeSimio, Christine Anderson, Ph.D., John E. Douglass, Ph.D.; John Getz, Ph.D., and Michelle Watts, Ph.D.

Production took place in Cincinnati, Piqua and Ripley, Ohio; Maysville, Kentucky; Litchfield and Hartford, Connecticut; Brunswick, Maine and Andover, Massachusetts.

The documentary project received a major grant from Ohio Humanities, a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.  Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House served as the fiscal sponsor for the grant.

The Rundles’ docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunder, which tells the unforgettable true story of the awakening of Harriet Beecher Stowe to the horrors of slavery, and the beginning of the end of slavery in America, will air on WQPT at 8:00 p.m., followed by Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.

Other award-winning Fourth Wall Films productions include Country School: One Room - One Nation, Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, The Barn Raisers, Letters Home to Hero Street (with WQPT-PBS), River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (with McMarr, LTD.), Villisca: Living with a Mystery, Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, The Amish Incident, and the Lost Nation: The Ioway film series.


Fourth Wall Films Historical Documentary DVDs for Holiday Gift-giving

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#shopsmall with Fourth Wall and support a community-based business. We tell timeless and timely American history and mystery stories.

Purchase a DVD of one of our award-winning movies as a Holiday gift, and receive FREE shipping. FREE gift wrap and message upon request. Order by December 19th to receive in time for Christmas!

Thank you for supporting our work!

Order here: http://www.fourthwallfilms.com/dvds.htm


New Documentary on Harriet Beecher Stowe's Ohio Years Previews at Xavier’s Kennedy Auditorium September 21

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Harriet Beecher Stowe and her father Lyman Beecher.

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe
, a new documentary by Mid-America Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, will be presented at Xavier University as part of a special Ohio Humanities sneak preview. The program is free to the public and will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019, 2PM-3:30PM in Xavier’s Kennedy Auditorium, located in the Michael J. Conaton Learning Commons, 3725 Ledgewood Dr. in Cincinnati. The 30-minute film will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, and film participants Dr. Christine Anderson, Dr. John Douglass, Dr. John Getz, Dr. Michelle Taylor Watts and historian Chris DeSimio.  The program is co-sponsored by the Xavier English Department, the Xavier History Department, and Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. 

Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe explores the writer’s life in Cincinnati, Ohio and how those life-changing experiences contributed to her best-selling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Beecher-Stowe lived in Cincinnati between 1832 and 1850, and just after her move to Maine, she adapted her Ohio experiences and anti-slavery sentiment into America’s most influential novel. Production took place in Cincinnati, Piqua and Ripley, Ohio; Maysville, Kentucky; Litchfield and Hartford, Connecticut; Brunswick, Maine and Andover, Massachusetts.

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The documentary project received a major grant from Ohio Humanities, a State affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities.  Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House served as the fiscal sponsor for the grant.

 “We are very pleased to sneak preview Becoming Harriet Beecher Stowe at Xavier University, which is not far from the historic Harriet Beecher Stowe House where Harriet and Calvin Stowe likely married, and where their twin daughters Eliza and Harriet were born,” said producer Tammy Rundle.  “We encourage people to tour the home prior to the afternoon program.”

The Rundles previously received an Ohio Humanities grant for their award-winning historical documentary film The Barn Raisers. Other award-winning Fourth Wall Films productions include Country School: One Room - One Nation, Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, Letters Home to Hero Street (with WQPT-PBS), Movie Star: The Secret Lives of Jean Seberg (with McMarr, LTD.), Villisca: Living with a Mystery, Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City, The Amish Incident, and the Lost Nation: The Ioway film series. The Rundles are also the filmmakers behind the 1834 Cincinnati Lane Rebels docudrama Sons & Daughters of Thunder. The Garfield Theater hosted the sold-out Cincinnati premiere of Thunder in March 2019.

The Ohio Humanities (OH) is a state-affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The mission of Ohio Humanities is to help individuals and communities explore, share, and to be inspired by the human experience. OH is committed to creating vibrant communities throughout the state of Ohio. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed by the film do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Ohio Humanities.

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Friends of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House (FOHBSH) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2006, and is committed to assuring that the place and importance of the Lane Theological Seminary and the Beecher and Stowe families is perpetuated and shared. It encompasses ideas of abolition, as well as civil rights and women’s rights.  The organization accomplishes this through tours of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati, lectures and discussions, and educational outreach programs for the community, teachers and students of all ages.

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.  Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.