Marlboro College



MARLBORO, VERMONT – Independent Vermont filmmaker and Marlboro College film studies professor, Jay Craven, will appear Friday, Aug. 1 for the opening night screening of his new award-winning film "The Year That Trembled," at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. and the opening night event will benefit the Boston Film and Video Foundation, New England's regional service organization for independent filmmakers. Craven will introduce the show and lead post-film discussions for the August 1st event. Additional screenings of the film will be presented on Saturday, Aug. 2 at 4 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 7 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 9 at 10:30 a.m., and Sunday, Aug 10 at 12:45 p.m.

Based on the screenplay by Craven, from the novel by Scott Lax, “The Year That Trembled” is a 1970 coming-of-age story, set on the American “homefront” during the Vietnam War. Three teenagers, fresh out of high school and fearful of the impending draft lottery, experience a year that transforms their lives. They find themselves caught up in the anti-war upheaval at Kent State following a guerilla theater action. Later, they meet a young college activist who takes refuge at their summer farmhouse, hoping to sidestep an FBI investigation triggered by the Kent shootings. Next door, a young couple also struggle over war-related complications. She loses her high school teaching job. He launches a civil suit on behalf of the Kent State victims and struggles to decide about military service as he tries to follow in the footsteps of Bobby Kennedy. Confronted by the challenges of the War and the complexities of the counter-culture, no one emerges unscathed. Choices are made; emotional boundaries are transgressed; and innocence is lost.

Historian Howard Zinn called the film an unusual one.

"The Year That Trembled' deals with matters that Hollywood won't touch, and gets people thinking about a dramatic piece of our history that has been largely forgotten. What happened at Kent State was a microcosm of what happened to the nation. (The) young characters have their lives changed, and we get to know them up close -- their loves, their fears, their dreams."

Academy Award-winning director, Peter Davis adds, " ‘The Year That Trembled’ gets it just right — the era, the homefront, the conflict, the characters. I was more moved than by a dozen Hollywood efforts that skate over Vietnam as if it were a plot point rather than a country and a war we have still not recovered from. At a moment when history is rewinding itself for more military adventures in countries and cultures we do not understand, ‘The Year That Trembled’ is a film I hope Americans will see."

For Craven, the 60’s drama strikes close to his own coming-of-age experience as a Boston University (BU) student from 1968 to 1972. Thinking when he set out to college that he’d join BU’s ROTC program in order to earn tuition support, Craven was swept up in the era’s anti-war fervor on the first day of his arrival as a freshman, when Raymond Kroll, a Vietnam-bound soldier, took sanctuary in BU’s Marsh Chapel. For more than a week, hundreds of students, including Craven, occupied the chapel, gave speeches, sang songs and trained in non-violent civil disobedience for the soldier’s eventual arrest.

The film includes 120 clips of period stock footage and seventeen songs from the era, including cuts from Country Joe and the Fish, The Grateful Dead, Paul Pena, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Shugie Otis, JJ Cale, and others.

Craven directs Kingdom County Productions in Barnet, Vermont and is the recipient of The Producer’s Guild of America’s 1995 NOVA award for Most Promising New Film Producer of the Year. His previous films include “Where the Rivers Flow North” (starring Rip Torn, Tantoo Cardinal and Michael J. Fox) and “A Stranger in the Kingdom” (starring Ernie Hudson, Martin Sheen, David Lansbury). His most recent work in progress is "Disappearances," a Vermont whiskey-running adventure set during Prohibition.

For more information, please contact Kingdom County Productions at (802) 592-3190 or e-mail to

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