Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Past Programs

Representing Race in Mid-Century Maine - a discussion of the film Lost Boundaries with Dr. Ardis Cameron

Recorded on November 12, 2020 - Following a screening of Lost Boundaries (1949, Alfred Werker, dir.) this discussion of the film was facilitated by USM Professor Dr. Ardis Cameron. The film is based on the William Lindsay White book of the same name and narrates the experiences of a black doctor who passes for white to work in a New England hospital. Based on the real story of a black family in early 20th century New England, Lost Boundaries was filmed in Kittery and York, Maine, as well as parts of New Hampshire, and released in 1949. Historically, this film is part of the movement that spawned socially conscious films in Hollywood in the thirties and forties, but few such films directly addressed racism in New England. This film provides an opportunity to consider the larger context of racial politics in mid-century Maine and the significance of setting a story of racial "passing" in New England.