Fittingly for Black History Month, the Bettendorf Public Library will present Fourth Wall Films’ Mid-America Emmy-nominated docudrama “Sons & Daughters of Thunder” later this month.

This exclusive virtual event will feature film clips, which will only be available live on Feb. 17th at 1:30 p.m. on Fourth Wall Films’ Facebook page. A question-and-answer session with the film producers, and Christina Hartlieb, Executive Director of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati, will follow the clips.

Based on the play by Earlene Hawley and Curtis Heeter, “Sons & Daughters of Thunder” tells the unforgettable true story of the first-in-the-nation 1834 emancipation debates led by firebrand abolitionist Theodore Weld (Thomas Alan Taylor) in Cincinnati, Ohio, and their effect on a young Harriet Beecher Stowe’s (Jessica Taylor) views of slavery.

The 2019 film was co-produced by Kelly & Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films and Kent Hawley, and executive producer Kimberly Kurtenbach. Award-winning cinematographer Kevin Railsback served as the director of photography.

Discussing the abolition of slavery in 1834 was considered radical, even in the North, according to a Monday release from Fourth Wall. Organized by firebrand abolitionist Theodore Weld, the nation’s first public debates at Lane Seminary in Cincinnati led to near-riot conditions in the city. The shocking oratory sparked intense controversy and awakened a young Harriet Beecher (Stowe) to the horrors of slavery.

A young Harriet Beecher (Jessica Taylor) at her desk in “Sons & Daughters of Thunder,” from Moline-based Fourth Wall Films.

Harriet was captivated by Weld’s charismatic leadership, at a time when Calvin Stowe was trying to win her heart. Inspired by Weld and the debates, Harriet later distilled her Cincinnati experiences into the worldwide best-selling novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” This forgotten true story was a prelude to America’s Civil War.

The film received the Harriet Beecher Stowe Power of Voice Award at the Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, won seven Iowa Motion Picture Awards, and received three Mid-America Emmy nominations in 2020, including Original Score by William Campbell of Davenport.

Registration is not required to attend the free virtual event on Feb. 17, and is part of Community Connections, sponsored by the Friends of the Bettendorf Public Library.

Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy-winning film and video production company specializing in Midwestern historical documentaries. The Bettendorf Public Library’s Community Connections program series is held on a monthly basis and includes music, lectures, and more. More information about this event and others can be found on the library’s website.