Jay Craven’s ‘Lost Nation’ opens at Latchis

BRATTLEBORO-Jay Craven's newest film, Lost Nation, will hold its world premiere screenings at the Latchis Theatre on Wednesday and Thursday, July 10 and 11, at 7 p.m.

The film's stars, Eva Ndachi (Lucy Terry Prince) and Kevin Ryan (Ethan Allen), will travel from Los Angeles to attend opening night. Ndachi will also attend the July 11 screening. The picture was filmed on 43 locations, including principal locations in Marlboro as well as Leyden and Colrain, Massachusetts. Historic landmarks, including Packers Corner Tavern and the Prince homestead, are featured in the film.

Lost Nation is a Revolutionary War-era action drama set in the early upstart Republic of Vermont. Irish actor Ryan as Vermont founding father and rebel schemer, Ethan Allen, leads resistance to New Yorker land claims, launches an ill-fated attack on British forces in Montreal, and leads invasions by his Green Mountain Boys into Yorker strongholds of Guilford and Brattleboro.

The parallel and intersecting story features Kenyan actress Ndachi as Lucy Terry Prince, whose poem, "Bars Fight," about the 1746 Deerfield Massacre, is the first known work of African American literature. Enslaved in Western Massachusetts for 30 years starting at age 3, Terry then settled with her family on a Guilford homestead with her husband, formerly enslaved transport owner, Abijah Prince.

Like Allen, Lucy Prince upset the status quo in her assertive use of early Vermont's legal and political systems to defend her family from local encroachment, harassment, and intimidation.

Two seemingly unrelated figures - the legendary rabble-rouser Allen and lesser-known, but historically important Prince - find themselves engaged in parallel struggles for liberty, justice. and relief from harassment and intimidation.

Allen is well-known, although separating fact from legend continues to confound scholars. There is much that is unknown about Prince, but what is known is fascinating. Craven sought to weave these characters and their stories together to paint a picture of a frontier Vermont that is more diverse and complicated than our cursory historical knowledge allows.

"I hoped to capture an indelible moment that shows the complexity and power of an early version of the 'American dream' - and the promise of the American Revolution," Craven said in a news release. "In doing this, we reflect on actor Tom Hanks's recent call for history-based films that 'map our cultural DNA, reflect who we really are, and help determine what is our full history - including the history of Black people that has too often been left out."

The film was produced through Kingdom County Productions' Semester Cinema program, in which 30 film professionals collaborate with students from 10 colleges. The film was co-produced by Vermont's Elena Greenlee and co-stars Vermont actors Rusty DeWees and Ariel Zevon. The Brattleboro world premiere events are the first in a series of 50 screenings celebrating the release of what Craven calls his "last big feature film."

Tickets to the world premiere screenings are $20 and are available at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased by going to For more information, contact Jay Craven at [email protected].

This Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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