SYNOPSIS

The Other Madisons is a remarkable contribution to American history, documenting the process by which an oral tradition preserves, with exquisite fidelity, an important social record, in spite of, or perhaps in response to, suppression or neglect by exclusion, and racism.

In this documentary, Bettye Kearse traces her ancestry to Mandy, her family’s first African ancestor enslaved on American soil and who became the property of President James Madison's estate in Virginia, Montpelier. Kearse's research, her encounters with cultural institutions, and her travels to Ghana, Portugal, Virginia, and Texas provide the contextual background of this genealogical journey. The family mantra: "Always remember—you’re a Madison. You come from African slaves and a president" has now achieved a new level, that of the documentary film experience. 

During the process of making The Other Madisons, the filmmaker relied heavily on Kearse’s homonymous book and her own testimony at length, while also reaching out to experts on Montpelier’s enslaved community: Matthew Reeves, archeologist; Lynn Rainville, historian; Cristian Cotz, historian, Kelley Fanto Deetz, archeologist, and Elizabeth Chew, Chief Curator at James Madison's Montpelier. 

 

"The Other Madisons" is currently in production and expected to be released to the general audience and academic institutions and their libraries in February 2021. HD|30 min. produced by Soledad LIENDO, written and directed by Eduardo MONTES-BRADLEY.

FURTHER NOTES

Duration: est. 40 minutes

Format: HD producer Soledad LIENDO executive producers Bettye KEARSE and Eduardo MONTES-BRADLEY.

Upcoming Events

  • National Association of Black Journalists
    Webinar
    Aug 18, 7:00 PM – Aug 21, 11:00 PM
    Webinar
  • The Other Madisons | The Marietta House Museum
    The Marietta House Museum
    Apr 08, 4:00 PM EDT
    The Marietta House Museum
    "The Other Madisons” screening organized by The Marietta House Museum, Glenn Dale, Maryland, followed by Q&A with author Bettye Kearse.
  • The Other Madisons | Book Passage
    Book Passage
    Apr 06, 6:00 PM
    Book Passage
    "The Other Madisons" screening at Book Passage, in San Francisco, CA. The film will be introduced by the Dean of the Medican School. Following the screening there will be a Q&A with author Bettye Kearse and film director Eduardo Montes-Bradley.
  • The Other Madisons
    The African American Performing Arts Center
    Mar 26, 9:00 PM MST – Mar 27, 1:00 AM MST
    The African American Performing Arts Center
    "The Other Madisons” screening at The African American Performing Arts Center, NM, followed by Q&A with author Bettye Kearse and director Eduardo Montes-Bradley.
  • The Other Madisons
    The Center for Contemporary Arts
    Mar 23, 8:00 PM EDT
    The Center for Contemporary Arts
    "The Other Madisons” screening at The Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM. followed by Q&A with author Bettye Kearse and gust historian Christian Cotz from The First Amendment Museum. The screening and follow Q&A will be moderated by Pamelya Herndon, President of the KWH Law Center...
  • The Other Madisons | Harvard University
    Harvard University
    Mar 23, 2:00 PM EDT
    Harvard University
    "The Other Madisons” screening, followed by Q&A with author Bettye Kearse and director Eduardo Montes-Bradley. Presented by Harvard Medical School | Office for Diversity Inclusion & Community Partnership.
  • The Other Madisons | The First Amendment Museum
    The First Amendment Museum
    Mar 18, 7:00 PM EDT
    The First Amendment Museum
    "The Other Madisons" screening at The First Amendment Museum. Q&A with author Bettye Kearse and director Eduardo Montes-Bradley will be moderated by historian Christian Cotz.

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