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Documentary on BSC alumna who is former first lady of Costa Rica debuting at Sidewalk Festival

Documentary on BSC alumna who is former first lady of Costa Rica debuting at Sidewalk Festival

For Immediate Release
Aug. 25, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--A documentary film about Birmingham-Southern College alumna Henrietta Boggs, who was married to Costa Rica’s revolutionary president, will have its U.S. premiere at this year’s Sidewalk Film Festival in downtown Birmingham.Henrietta Boggs

First Lady of the Revolution is a Spark Media production, written and directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Andrea Kalin and produced in part with the support of the Alabama Humanities Foundation. The film will screen at 11:40 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Life and Liberty venue at First Church Birmingham, located at 518 19th St. North. BSC is a sponsor of the film’s appearance at the festival.

Boggs, a Birmingham native and the first wife of Costa Rican President Jose “Don Pepe” Figueres, will attend the screening of the documentary, which traces her wildly improbable life path, which profoundly changed a small Central American country.

Her story begins in 1940, when, while visiting her aunt and uncle in Costa Rica during her junior year at Birmingham-Southern, she accepted a ride on the back of Figueres’ motorcycle. She would eventually marry him, becoming both wife and advisor to a man who would institute sweeping reforms in his native country. With Boggs at his side, Figueres led the 1948 Revolution that ended in lasting democracy and economic success in a region previously not known for either. A lifelong trailblazer, Boggs actively influenced Figueres’ policies, most notably in the fight for women’s rights; among the many groundbreaking reforms that occurred under his watch, women were given the right to vote and hold public positions long denied to them.

At 98 years of age, Boggs shares with the filmmakers her account of those tumultuous times, providing a rare glimpse into her bicultural experience in the 1940s that helped to develop Costa Rica into a vibrant democracy that has paved the way for women leaders for generations.

Dr. Teddy Champion, visiting assistant professor of media and film studies at BSC, will hold a Q&A session after the screening with the filmmakers. Tickets are available at

Boggs will hold a Q&A and read from her book, Married to a Legend: Don Pepe, on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 4 p.m. at the Revelator Coffee Shop in downtown Birmingham.

More on the film can be found at www. and

About Birmingham-Southern College:
Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Ala., founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It enrolls about 1,300 students from more than 30 states and 15 foreign countries.