Film presents a rare view of suburbia in early 1960s Prince George’s County
Tales of Belair at Bowie will have its public TV premiere on Maryland Public Television (MPT) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 20. The one-hour documentary delivers a whimsical, nostalgic, and thought-provoking look at the 1960s Maryland suburb, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Belair at Bowie was built by developer William Levitt, widely credited as “The Father of Suburbia.”
The film was produced and directed by Jeff Krulik, a Maryland filmmaker and Bowie native. A trailer is available at talesofbelairatbowie.com/.
Tales of Belair at Bowie will also be available for viewing on MPT’s video player at video.mpt.tv/ starting February 21.
Belair at Bowie, in Prince George’s County, was one of Maryland's first planned communities. It promised an idyllic suburban middle-class lifestyle. But was this community everything that was originally promised in its sales brochure?
Tales of Belair at Bowie presents firsthand memories and tours of homes from original community residents. It incorporates archival film footage and photos, including ironic commentary on 1960s American suburban life using clips from a West German documentary shot early in the community’s development.
The film also takes a more serious look at the racial tensions that turned to protests of Levitt’s discriminatory sales practices, as well as the challenges of building a flourishing community in a geographically secluded area.
Krulik has worked as a documentary producer and director for more than 30 years. His films have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center, American Film Institute, and on PBS. In 2008, Krulik produced the Emmy Award-winning documentary Eatin' Crabs Chesapeake Style for MPT’s Chesapeake Bay Week.
About Maryland Public Television
Maryland Public Television (MPT) is a statewide, public-supported TV network and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) affiliate, offering entertaining, informative, educational, and inspiring content delivered by traditional broadcasting and streaming on TVs, computers, and mobile devices. A state agency, it operates under the auspices of the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission. MPT creates and distributes local, regional, and national content and is a frequent winner of regional Emmy® Awards. MPT’s commitment to educators, parents, caregivers, and learners of all ages is delivered through instructional events and Thinkport.org. MPT’s year-round community engagement activities connect viewers with resources on a wide range of topics. For more information visit mpt.org.