Documentary Film - Growing up Bowdoinham


Growing Up Bowdoinham is a 50-minute documentary film by Jeff Fischer about childhood in Bowdoinham, as told in interviews of 16 people, ages 9 to 97.

 What chores did you do? Where did your family gets its food? What did you do in the summer? What was special about winter?  Did you ever get into trouble? These are some of the questions the people in the film were asked by Fischer and the eight Mt. Ararat Middle School students from Bowdoinham who helped him form the ideas for the film and conduct the interviews. 

The film does not follow Bowdoinham history chronologically. Rather, it brings the words of the interviews and images of life in Bowdoinham together through common experiences. For example, several people recalled summers spent picking peas at the Prout Farm – “Hard labor for an eleven year old,” as Rachel Wildes put it. Others described the fun of poling on and hopping across ice chunks when the ice went out. “It wasn’t until years later that my mother figured out what we’d done,” said Frank Connors.

One of the common themes that came out is that, in the past, Bowdoinham kids spent a lot of their time outdoors, without supervision, exploring the woods and the streams. As Erla Browne Kelley who, at 97, was the oldest person interviewed, put it, “I don’t know how our mother let us go out and do the things we did.”


Preview -


To see the complete video, please go to Vimeo.