"Lindy Boggs: Steel and Velvet" - A Career Chronicled

Memphis, TN – To many, Lindy Boggs is not a household name. Independent filmmaker Bess Carrick decided while listening to her speak at a luncheon that it was time for her work to become illuminated.

The film chronicles Lindy Boggs' political life, working in polling places to ensure voting rights, helping her late husband Congressman Hale Boggs gain political clout, then filling his congressional seat following his death in 1973. She continued her work in the Congress until 1991. After that, former President Clinton appointed her as US ambassador to the Vatican. Today, Boggs lives in the French Quarter.

It was 2001, and Mrs. Boggs had just retired from being Ambassador to the Vatican. And Mrs. Boggs started her speech by talking about these incredible experiences she had had while being Ambassador to the Vatican, and sending relief efforts and aide to sex slave camps that had been discovered as a result of the Bosnian conflict. And I sat there in the Ritz Carlton with this chicken speared on the end of my fork, looking up and thinking, 'my goodness.' And I said, 'has anyone ever done a film on Lindy Boggs?' said Bess Carrick.

From that moment on, Bess Carrick started chronicling the legacy of Lindy Boggs.

I think that her appeal nationally will begin to be recognized, particularly the aspects of the fact that ...she wrote the legislation that gave women access to equal credit, she was very important in the appropriations world, so many of the medical trials were, for medicine, and issues specifically related to women, they were all done on men. So it was only after Mrs. Boggs went in there on one of the various subcommittees she was on and got the chemical and drug trials and the medical trials to focus on using women as the subjects. And of course, we wouldn't have women astronauts. And all of these levels of government where Mrs. Boggs would make it clear, in a very subtle way, but very clearly, that when these people came before her subcommittee...these vary agencies like NASA, the Corps of Engineers, that she really wanted to see women in the highest levels of their agencies when they came before her subcommittee asking for $80mil, or 150 mil or 500 million dollars. In that way she very subtly, but very deftly began to give the possibilities for women to take the highest leadership roles in these agencies. It hadn't been done before. It wasn't even a glass ceiling, it was cement, Bess Carrick said.

Louisiana independent filmmaker Bess Carrick wanted a personal approach for this documentary, so she chose Lindy Boggs' granddaughter Rebecca Roberts to narrate the film.

Well, I wanted to have a very personal look inside Mrs. Boggs' family and also in the evolution of her from the early days of being really a leader in the Democratic party through her tremendous responsibilities as heading Mr. Boggs' congressional office in Washington. And then of course as a wife and mother and then a grandmother, she had an extremely human side to her. And was one these early super women that had time to make the homemade pickles, give speeches and care for everyone, a huge family, and then travel around the country and make a tremendous difference. So Rebecca could very much be an eye witness to that. It was very comfortable for Mrs. Boggs to speak to Rebecca about her life. I felt it gave the film a real personal look, a real personal point of view.

Lindy Boggs: Steel and Velvet airs on WKNO Channel 10 Friday at 9, and Rebecca Roberts and Bess Carrick will be on hand at tonight's 6:30 screening at the Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center.

March 26th at 6:30 PM
Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center 60 Perkins Extended, Memphis, TN 38117 901-537-1482
Independent Film Producer Bess Carrick and Rebecca Roberts will address the audience at the screening. Rebecca Roberts narrates the film, and is a public radio reporter based in San Francisco, Lindy Boggs' granddaughter, Cokie Roberts daughter.

March 27th at 7:00 PM
University of Memphis - Fogelman Executive Center
330 Innovation Drive, Room 123
Memphis, TN 38152
Producer Bess Carrick will speak at the screening of Lindy Boggs: Steel and Velvet

WKNO-TV will air Lindy Boggs: Steel and Velvet March 29th at 9:00 PM on WKNO-TV Channel 10 March 30th at 2:00 AM on WKNO-TV Channel 10 March 30th at 9:00 PM on WKNO2