This story is a true account of the lives of Scott and Marsha Carter. Having graduated from medical school, Scott Carter, a fair-skinned African American, marries Marsha Mitchell and moves ...
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This story is a true account of the lives of Scott and Marsha Carter. Having graduated from medical school, Scott Carter, a fair-skinned African American, marries Marsha Mitchell and moves to Georgia. When he arrives at the black clinic in Georgia, he discovers that the job must inconveniently go to a Southerner. Discussions between two nurses at this clinic suggest that Scott's light skin may have some bearing on the decision not to hire him. Defeated but not conquered, Scott returns to Massachusetts to live with his in-laws until he can get employment. He tries unsuccessfully to obtain employment as an African American. Because Marsha is pregnant, Scott decides to take a job at Portsmouth Hospital, but he reluctantly does so as a white man. While there, he manages to save the life of Dr. Bracket, who encourages him to take a postion in Keenham, New Hampshire. Scott decides to continue "passing" for white. In Keenham, Dr. Scott Carter proves to be quite a success for the town. For ...Written by
Broncine G. Carter
Dr. Carter is shown traveling by U.S. Coast Guard boat from Portsmouth N.H. to the Isle of Shoals, about 6 nautical miles from the city harbor. However, when the boat arrives to its destination it is actually the Cape Neddick Lighthouse station (a.k.a. the Nubble) just off the coast from York, ME. The house the doctor is shown entering is the lighthouse keeper's residence. See more »
Dated and imperfect--but in the gaps are good reminders and insights
Lost Boundaries (1949)
This affected me more than I would have expected. I mean, the changes in how we see race and "race relations" since 1949 are huge. The acting is really solid, if not searingly intense (which it has room for). And the narrative is complex enough with a few turning points to make it all interesting.
There is a sense as you watch that you're being shown a social issue and that the jury is already in. We know what we are supposed to feel, and we feel it. There is also a sense of something that doesn't happen much any more—the well known trick of "passing," which means being an African-American (usually) who is light skinned enough to "pass" as white. This is no small thing, since it required a social shift and truly living a "white" American's life, including both the advantages and the inner angst of having left behind your own roots.
So it's important stuff, and good stuff. And it was more compelling in its details and acting than you might think, being both socially loaded and a bit low budget. The production standards are high, however, and the results make it worth watching. I frankly did more than confirm what I already knew about the era and race in America. I realigned a little, feeling more than reminded, but also a little educated.
Yes, the approach here is outdated, and it ignores the true range of racism and hatred of the time, even in the supposedly enlightened New England setting here. But it has the truth woven into the stylized telling. If you think you already know all this, give it a look anyway. It's imprtant enough to try.
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