Father of Philanthropy: Life and Legacy of Stephen Girard
23 February 2011 |
The first documentary film on the life of the fourth wealthiest American, Stephen Girard, who died in 1831. Told by experts, including former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and fellow French emigre, the restaurateur Georges Perrier, and through seven dramatic reenactments, the film explores his motivations as the first American to leave his fortune for “people he would never know.” Girard made a fortune in shipping trade, finance, and real estate, but is widely misunderstood—his life story is laden with myth and misconception. We attempt to clarify the record by exploring his ideas on education, race, and economics. Girard emerges as a determined, lonely man of principle and action. The film is currently in production and will be complete in Spring, 2011. I have been historic consultant, screenwriter, and co-director.