Fans of aristocracy and Newport, Rhode Island history can now rejoice as the critically acclaimed documentary Behind the Hedgerow: Eileen Slocum and the Meaning of Newport Society makes its broadcast debut at 8PM this Wednesday, April 6, 2011, on WSBE/Rhode Island PBS.
The feature length film tells the history of aristocratic Newport through the focus of one of Newport’s last grand dames, Eileen Gillespie Slocum. You can expect the documentary, which was last year’s opening night feature at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, to cover not only Slocum’s long life and stature, but the Gilded Age when the Vanderbilts and Astors reigned.
Director David Bettencourt and producer/writer G. Wayne Miller had unprecedented access to Slocum’s extensive personal archive of photographs, books, belongings and papers – notably the diaries she kept for sixty years to tell Slocum’s story. Rare footage and still photographs from a multitude of sources and on-camera interviews of people in Eileen Slocum’s set and Slocum’s family help give this documentary a complete picture of life as a New England aristocrat.
Behind the Hedgerow is the second title from Eagle Peak Media, the production company founded in 2008 by the film’s writer and director. The company’s first documentary, On the Lake, was nominated for an Emmy by the New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and has been broadcast in PBS markets across America.
You can now buy the director’s cut DVD with bonus footage of Behind the Hedgerow online or at gift shops of The Preservation Society of Newport County, which operates The Breakers, Marble House and other Newport mansions and sites. Details on other air dates for Behind the Hedgerow can be found on PBS. To learn more about Behind the Hedgerow or Eagle Peak Media, make sure to check out their website.