NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A free preview of the new film, To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine,” will be shown in the Ossie Davis Theater of the New Rochelle Public Library on Saturday, May 14 at 3:00 pm. This 73-minute film of Ian Ruskin’s acclaimed one-man play has gathered praise from all who have attended preview screenings. It is that rare historical drama that addresses a multitude of contemporary issues that challenge us today. Paine’s story also inspires us to “always speak the truth as one sees it, no matter the consequences.” Paine spent his final years living in New Rochelle.
It is fitting that the National Educational Telecommunications Association is distributing the film to Public Television Stations nationwide during a Presidential election year. Thomas Paine literally changed the world through his pen but remains the most misunderstood man in American history, revered and quoted by all and integral to every aspect of our political spectrum. This story, written with the oversight of five of America’s most distinguished Paine scholars, challenges misconceptions long held about Paine.
Ian Ruskin, who portrays Paine, is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He founded The Harry Bridges Project in 2000 and has written, performed and produced many plays and radio and film documentaries, including From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks about labor leader Harry Bridges. The film version, directed and shot by multi-Academy Award winner Haskell Wexler, aired nationwide on PBS for four years. His new play and film To Begin the World Over Again: the Life of Thomas Paine continues his mission to present the stories of forgotten and misunderstood heroes from American and European history. Elliott Gould, who narrates the film, is known for an iconic body of work that includes Mash, Bob & Ted & Carol & Alice, A Bridge Too Far, Capricorn One, The Lady Vanishes, The Long Goodbye, Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen and Contagion, among many others. This is his second collaboration with Ruskin.