News Feature

Originally published in Compass, June 14, 2012
Opera House to host made-in-Maine film screenings

Opera House Arts will present three made-in-Maine films: Welcome to Lee, Maine and A Marine’s Guide to Fishing on Tuesday, June 19, with special guest speakers Tom Ricks and Kate Braestrup; and on June 21, In the Blood, a special multi-media presentation by filmmaker Sumner McKane of his new work documenting Maine’s lumbermen and river drivers.

Welcome to Lee, Maine is a Maine-made documentary about a small, close-knit community in rural Maine (population 845) that must deal with the devastating news that it has become the smallest community in America to lose two sons in the Iraq War.

A Marine’s Guide to Fishing is a 15-minute fiction film telling the story of a young veteran’s return to his old job in a New England dockyard on his first “Alive Day”—the one year anniversary of the day he was severely injured overseas. Written and directed by Maine-native Nicholas Brennan, A Marine’s Guide to Fishing stars 27-year-old Pittsfield resident Matthew Pennington, who served three tours of duty with the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan before suffering an injury in 2006 very similar to the one endured by the character he plays. Both films were shot on location in Maine.

The screenings of these two films on June 19 will include a Talk Back with award-winning military author Tom Ricks and Kate Braestrup, a chaplain to the Maine Warden Service. Ricks is the author of the New York Times bestseller and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003-05. His second book on that war, The Gamble: General Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-08, has recently been published.

Braestrup joins the Maine Warden Service members as they search the wild lands and fresh waters of Maine for those who have lost their way and offers comfort to those who wait for the ones they love to be rescued, or for their bodies to be recovered. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, Here If You Need Me, won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award for nonfiction. Her magazine articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Boston Globe, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

On June 21, Maine filmmaker Sumner McKane creates a live, multimedia experience that is a striking virtual journey into the 19th century Maine woods.

Tickets for both evenings are available only at the door the night of the performance.