Distinguished Events Series Presents Harper Lee Documentary “Hey Boo” Nov. 15

Nov. 14, 2011


FLORENCE, Ala. — The Distinguished Events Series at the University of North Alabama will host a documentary entitled “Hey Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird” Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in Norton Auditorium. A post-show interview with Dr. Bill Foster and six-time Emmy Award winning producer Mary McDonagh Murphy will follow the show.

The free event is open to all students, faculty and staff, and offers a look into the influence of Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the impact it had on literature and society. Murphy’s documentary, which was released in 2010, features interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, Rosanne Cash, James McBride, Wally Lamb and more.

The Pulitzer Prize winning novel, which was first published in 1960, turned 50 last year and is celebrated in Murphy’s documentary. According to Will McAlister with the Distinguished Events Series, the screening will demonstrate some of Lee’s well-known mysteries, such as why she never published another book after “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“One of the main reasons for this event, in light of other Distinguished Events Series, is that ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ has been designated by librarians across the nation,” McAlister said. “It is the nation’s number one novel. It connects everyone who read it then and now. (Murphy) is very much a producer who is cognizant of what people think in society and what actions result from those thoughts.”

Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” was an instant and beloved bestselling novel that continues to be read today in classrooms across the nation. Gregory Peck starred as Atticus Finch in the 1962 film version of the novel, which went on to win a number of Academy and Golden Globe awards.

“Harper Lee had an opinion about something,” he said. “She utilized what she knew and had learned, to do something about it: write a book. Because she did that, society changed, in my opinion, for the better. The opinions that (students) have today will affect society from here on out, and when things like this are held, it is a great opportunity for them to develop and shape those opinions.”

The UNA Distinguished Events Series was developed in 2005 to help expose the community to various sources of arts and culture. For more information, contact Will McAlister with the series at wmcalister@una.edu or 256-765-4208.