Cora Unashamed, the first production from the new PBS series, Exxonmobil Masterpiece Theatre's American Collection, premiers on Iowa Public Television on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. and will be rebroadcast on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 9 p.m.
Filmed in Iowa last year, the film's producer, Marian Rees, is a native Iowan and many local Iowans were involved in the production, including Bethany Larson, Storm Lake, in one of the starring roles.
Set in the 1930s, Cora Unashamed takes place in the tiny town of Melton, where the Jenkinses live in isolation as the community's only African Americans. Their precarious existence is supported solely by Cora's earnings as a housekeeper to the Studevants. Tested early in life by the death of her daughter, Cora transfers her maternal love to the Studevants' daughter, Jessie, whose own mother is unable to demonstrate affection for her child.
When Jessie dies as the result of a tragic lapse in judgment by her mother, Cora's devotion to the girl empowers her to speak the truth to the town-regardless of the cost.
Adapted from the powerful short story by Harlem poet Langston Hughes, the two-hour drama also stars Regina Taylor and Cherry Jones.