October 15, 2012
THE HOUSE ON BROAD STREET
FINDING A FAITHFUL FEW: THE YEARS IN LYNN
Longyear Museum's new documentary film is centered on Mary Baker Eddy’s years in Lynn, Massachusetts, in the 1870s and on her home there from 1875 to 1882. The film is available in DVD and Blu-ray versions. Subtitles are offered in English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
The documentary looks at Mrs. Eddy’s far-reaching work to establish Christian Science while living in that modest house on Broad Street. During her six-and-a-half years there, she founded her student association, her church, and her college; and there she published the first three editions of Science and Health.
During the Lynn years, there were times of achievement and times of opposition and challenge. Throughout this decade she was seeking faithful followers – finding few – virtually going it alone, until Asa Gilbert Eddy came to her for healing in 1876 and ultimately became her husband and right-hand helper.
The years in Lynn – and the forty-five years leading to them – encompass a complex story, requiring a complex documentary film to tell even part of it. Nearly three years went into making the film, two of them in research and writing – carefully checking and re-checking every fact.
A full year has been required to put the script onto the screen: to assemble collages of historical photos, newspaper clippings, and documents; re-create events for the camera; record narrators; compose music; edit hundreds of images; and translate the text for subtitles in five languages.
Where no historic photos or other materials exist to represent significant events, re-enacted scenes fill the screen. These scenes were staged in a film studio and at a variety of locations with a large cast of actors attired in authentic costumes of the period.
The Alcott farm, Fruitlands, at Harvard, Massachusetts, represents the no-longer-extant Baker homestead at Bow, New Hampshire.
Typesetting and printing the first edition of Science and Health were filmed at Firefly Press in Boston, a fully operational nineteenth-century print shop where type is still set by hand.
Mrs. Eddy's former home on Broad Street, Lynn, was the setting for many scenes, including the installation of the sign announcing Mary B. Glover's CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS HOME – a facsimile constructed for the film.
At the National Historical Park in Lowell, Massachusetts, scenes aboard a trolley recreated the Eddys' weekly 3-hour-round-trip commute to Boston where Mrs. Eddy preached in rented halls. Her student Clara Choate recalled one such trip: “All the way home to Lynn Mrs. Eddy talked of widening the avenues for the work in Christian Science…larger places to worship in, or more students in the field, or more editions of the textbook, always so confident, expectant, and prophetic.”
It is this spirit of the emerging Leader of Christian Science that is captured in Longyear's film.
This fall and winter Longyear staff and trustees will be sharing the new documentary film with our members and friends. To view a schedule of film screenings, click here.
More screenings are planned for Spring 2013. Please check the website regularly for the most up-to-date schedule of events.
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