The documentary film and educational initiative Objects and Memory is about how we respond to history while it is happening and how we tell our stories through the otherwise ordinary things in our homes and museums that are associated with people, places, and events.

The film was PBS’s national prime time special in commemoration of the seventh, tenth, and fifteenth anniversaries of 9/11.  A PBS programming executive commented, “[This] program is one of the very few that continue to see broadcast play after so many years – the overwhelming majority of shows never see that much affection over time from PBS and stations.”  With narration by Frank Langella and music by Philip Glass, Objects and Memory invites viewers to consider what they value most, and how we form communities across time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Objects and Memory is now available for purchase.   The DVD includes additonal interviews, personal stories, and deleted/extended scenes.   Available here.

Producer/Director Jon Fein will be screening the film and speaking at Texas A&M University at Galveston on October 14.

Objects and Memory was honored with the 2010 American Association for State and Local History Award of Merit, considered the most prestigious national recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. The film was profiled on ABC's 20/20.

Filmmaker Jon Fein was interviewed on Public Radio in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Listen at Public Broadcasting or at iTunes.

Jon Fein speaks at universities, museums, and community centers across the nation, to expand upon the issues raised by the film.   Click here to discover the "Objects and Memory Educational Initiative"  and to contact him.

Explore the
Objects and Memory Project

In the face of sudden disruption and inexplicable loss, there is a need to bridge the irreplaceable past with a hopeful future. This film follows people driven to preserve meaningful objects in the aftermath of 9/11 and other upheavals. Otherwise ordinary items come to symbolize experiences, aspirations, and identity. Without the objects, the stories would lack vibrancy; without the stories the objects would lack significance. Taken together, the images of the objects and the stories they evoke lead the viewer on a journey where the commonplace is transformed into the remarkable and where the stuff of history is highly personalized.