On August 16, 2016, Film Streams, Omaha Public Library, and Greater Omaha Genealogical Society presented a special screening of the documentary TAKING LENA HOME at the Ruth Sokolof Theater, followed by a post-show discussion featuring the film’s director, Alexandra Grant.
In 2000, Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Grant came across a curious object in a Wyoming junk shop: the tombstone of Lena Davis, a baby girl who died in 1880. Inexplicably drawn to the stone, she took it home, where it sat in her studio. Years later, she began a quest to discover the origins of the headstone, a mission that led her all the way to Polk, Nebraska, and an adventure in first-time filmmaking.
TAKING LENA HOME documents the marker’s return to its rightful place, as well as Grant’s journey from owner of the stone to its caretaker.
After the movie, Film Streams Deputy Director Casey Logan will moderate a panel discussion with Grant; Cindy Drake, Nebraska History Library Curator and Statewide Cemetery Registry Coordinator, Nebraska State Historical Society; and Julie Middendorf, a genealogy enthusiast who solved the mystery of Lena’s provenance.
The screening and discussion are part of Film Streams’ Community Development Program, which facilitates partnerships with other nonprofits and community groups on film-related events that speak to their missions and programming.