The first of many great documentary announcements over the coming days. This one is Alexandra Grant’s TAKING LENA HOME. Full synopsis below!
In the fall of 2011, Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Grant discovered that an antique tombstone she had collected as a piece of folk art in Wyoming had in fact been stolen from Polk County, Nebraska, a rural farming community just over 80 miles west of Omaha. Interested in placing it in a collection or museum, but unsure how to go about it, Alexandra put it for sale on EBay, hoping the right person would find her. She was surprised by the Sheriff’s Department of Polk County, who notified her that the white marble stone, belonging to Lena Davis, aged 8 months, had been stolen from the Pleasant Home Cemetery in 1945 and was the county’s oldest unsolved crime. Curious to meet Lena’s family and see the landscape in which the stone belonged, Alexandra set off from Los Angeles for Nebraska with three video cameras to give back Lena’s stone. “Taking Lena Home” documents Alexandra’s trip to Polk County to return the stone, “a magical object,” and her relationships to the people connected to it. The documentary is filled with humor — as Alexandra learns that selling stolen goods on EBay is considered a felony — and pathos, as community members reflect on the difficult lives homesteaders lived on the plains in the 19th century. “Taking Lena Home” is a meditation on the role that an artist — and an outsider — can play in a small community with a singular gesture and the responsibility that entails.
We’re excited to bring this unique and intriguing documentary to Prairie Lights! Head over to the Tickets page and pre-order your Weekend Pass for the low price of $10.00 to see this and a ton of other awesome Nebraska films!