December 5, 2014
The premiere screening of “Life in Bennington County,” the last of 14 films by Johnson State College students and Professor Bill Doyle documenting life during the 1930s in each of Vermont’s 14 counties, will take place Thursday, Dec. 11, at 2:30 p.m. at the college. The 35-minute film will be shown in the Ellsworth Room of the Willey Library & Learning Center, followed by a brief discussion. The event is free and open to the public, with ample free parking available.
The film is the culmination of an eight-year project that has involved JSC students interviewing residents and helping to gather period photographs for documentaries about each Vermont county. The students worked under the guidance of Professor Doyle, who in addition to teaching at JSC represents Washington County in the Vermont Senate, and filmmaker Vince Franke of Peregrine Productions in Waterbury. The documentaries have aired on Vermont PBS, and copies are available at schools and libraries statewide.
Eleven JSC students interviewed Bennington County residents for the latest documentary: Jeff Capen, Brandi Garcia, Dale Glass, Ray Gordon, Nicole Menard, Corey Rainville, Alyssa Slaimen, Zach Suddaby, Perrin Teague, Sayer Teague and Michael Watkins.
Blended with more than 200 historical images of Bennington County, the interview provide unique insight into Bennington County’s past.
Brent Hallenbeck of The Burlington Free Press has praised the series, noting that “many of the stories that wound up in the (Lamoille County) film play a little like a Ken Burns documentary, with interviews interspersed among black-and-white photos and snippets of moody harmonica music.”
The film will be shown in Bennington in early January and will be dedicated to the late Tim Corcoran, who served as Bennington’s town clerk for 29 years.