A new movie about the life of Ralph Stanley will debut at the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 7. “Ralph Stanley: An Eye for Wood,” a Jeff Dobbs production, is expected to draw big crowds, so reservations are required. Call 244-7065. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Ralph Stanley documentary to debut

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — “Ralph Stanley: An Eye for Wood,” a new movie from Jeff Dobbs Productions, will debut at the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 3 and 5 p.m. Both screenings are by reservation only.

Writers, photographers and Ralph Stanley himself have been telling stories and showing photographs illustrating his life for many years. This Southwest Harbor boat builder, genealogist, musician, historian and raconteur, who has been lauded as one of America’s “Living Treasures,” is the subject of an extensive visual biography.

The movie, which illustrates Ralph’s life and accomplishments, is based on his documents, photographs from the library’s extensive Ralph Stanley Collection and hours of interviews. Jeff Dobbs and Bing Miller have consulted photographers, libraries, museums and collectors all over the United States to gather the strands woven together by Gunnar Hansen to tell this unique story. Dennis Damon, accompanied by the music of Bob Bowman, narrates the film.

The result, available to see now for the first time, in the company of Ralph and his family, is more than a life story. It is also a documentary about life on Mount Desert Island and the Cranberry Isles, the Stanley family, and how they shaped craft in Maine at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first.

“The wonderful thing about this film,” said library archivist Charlotte R. Morrill, “is that it shows the whole of Ralph’s multifaceted story and ends with a glimpse of where the next story is going. What a delight!”

For reservations, call the library 244-7065.

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