Amos Fortune Road, 1996, 20 min

Matthew Buckingham

Historic Film, Narrative, Short Film

Less than twenty tattered business receipts are the only source of information on the life of Amos Fortune: in 1769, at the age of 59, Fortune bought his freedom from slavery, moved to New Hampshire from Boston, and opened a leather tanning business. Little else is known about this man, who becomes the absent center of the film "Amos Fortune Road." A roadside historical marker inscribed with his name provokes the curiosity of two fictional characters: a teacher, Sharon, and her student, Maryanne. The film interweaves their personal lives and seemingly endless drives along rural New Hampshire roads with their investigation of Fortune’s identity. When Sharon discovers that most of the information they have gathered originated in two fictionalized biographies, one for children and one for adults, she also realizes that the 200-year-old roads they have been traveling are the same roads Amos Fortune used every day—a quotidian link to a suppressed historical subject.

Screening of this film is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


Directed by Matthew Buckingham


Saturday, March 31 7:00pm

“As Above, So Below” w/ “Amos Fortune Road”

Feature in Competition Sarah J. Christman’s documentary intimately examines various transmutations that reshape matter and its meanings. What separates the permanent from the impermanent, the things we discard from those

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)