April 23 - Oberlin-Wellington Rescue Documentary Premiere


We are thrilled to announce the film premier of “A Higher Law: The Oberlin Wellington Rescue” on Sunday, April 23 at 4:00 p.m. at Oberlin’s Apollo Theatre. No tickets are required to attend this free showing and all are welcome. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m. and the film runs just under 90 minutes. Filmmakers Scott Spears and Christina Paolucci will be present for a Q&A session after the showing.

The documentary brings to life the events surrounding John Price’s rescue from slave catchers by community members from Oberlin and Wellington in 1858. The film follows Price’s journey from Kentucky to Oberlin, increasing tensions between pro- and anti-slavery factions in the years leading up to the Civil War, Price’s kidnapping and liberation, Oberlin’s connection to the raid on Harpers Ferry shortly after, and reflections on post-Civil War inequities.  

Individuals interviewed include Margaret Christian, Ken Grossi, Rev. David Hill, Janet Hollingsworth, Gary Kornblith, Carol Lasser, Steven Lubet, Rev. A.G. Miller, Caroline Miller, Kurt Russell, Liz Schultz, Tim Simonson, Carl Westmoreland, and Annessa Oliver Wyman. 

Filmmakers Spears and Paolucci began researching this story through a planning grant from the Ohio Humanities Council, through which they produced a short concept piece. They have since received over $40,000 in grants from Ohio Humanities, the Ohio History Connection, and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, as well as donations from private individuals.

Spears and Paolucci have produced numerous documentary projects together including Zane’s Trace – A Road into the Wilderness (2012), The Legacy of Eastgate (2012), Historic Woodland Park (2015) and The Bourguignons: The Artist & The Anthropologist (2019).

This film is made possible, in part, by: 

Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this film do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Ohio History Fund, a grant program of the Ohio History Connection. The Ohio History Fund is made possible by voluntary donations of state income tax refunds, sales of Ohio History “mastodon” license plates, and direct donations to the Ohio History Connection. www.ohiohistory.org/historyfund”