Righteous Rebellion screened at the Octagon Barn

Documentarian Bruce Kennedy stands by the grave of his great-great-great-grandfather, Dr. Smith Azer Boughton, or “Big Thunder,” one of the principal leaders of the Anti-Rent rebellion. Kennedy will show a rough edit of his film “Righteous Rebellion” at the Octagon Barn in Knox on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The public is invited to meet the filmmaker at 6, followed by the screening at 7 p.m.

To the Editor:

Filmmaker Bruce Kennedy will show a rough edit of his documentary Righteous Rebellion: America’s Anti-Rent War on Privilege on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Octagon Barn in Knox. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs, this will be the only screening in Albany County.

Kennedy, originally from Troy, is a great-great-great-grandson of Dr. Smith Azer Boughton, known as “Big Thunder.” Boughton, a brilliant public speaker and principal leader of the Anti-Rent movement, was imprisoned for his efforts to lead the tenant farmers out of indentured servitude.

He proclaimed, “The purpose of our society is not for the few of maximum strength and ambition to lead lives of Byzantine glory, but for men to make the most of their common humanity.”

Kennedy, now based in North Carolina, visited the area in August, conducting research for his documentary and interviewing individuals with connections to the Anti-Rent movement. The event will begin with a meet-and-greet session at 6 p.m., followed by the film at 7. Afterward, the audience members will have an opportunity to discuss the topic with Kennedy and each other.

The public, including families with school-age children, is invited to this free event. The screening is co-sponsored by Berne Historical Society, Helderberg Hilltowns Association, and Knox Historical Society. Refreshments will be served. The Octagon Barn is located at 588 Middle Road in Knox (Route 262, Delanson 12053 for GPS).

For more information, contact me at 872-2082 or .

John Elberfeld
Board, Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs

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