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MSU graduate creates new film on "Young Hemingway"

April 9, 2018
<p>Pictured is George Colburn, a former East Lansing resident and City Councilman from 1971 to 1973. Photo courtesy of George Colburn</p>

Pictured is George Colburn, a former East Lansing resident and City Councilman from 1971 to 1973. Photo courtesy of George Colburn

George Colburn has spent the last six years working on a documentary film about Ernest Hemingway. The film has played a huge role in his life and he has dedicated years to teaching people about who Hemingway was. 

Colburn graduated from MSU in 1970 with a PhD in history. 

“The most rewarding part with all my projects ... is by being in this business and having money to film these interviews I get private seminars with people who have either been apart of history or have scholarly backgrounds in the study of history,” Colburn said. “I consider myself very lucky. Very satisfying work for a historian.”

Colburn started shooting in July of 2012 and the 90-minute documentary "Young Hemingway & His Enduring Eden" will premiere in Paris in July 2018 for Hemingway’s birthday. 

“With 'Young Hemingway,' I am there,” Colburn said. “People watch it and I answer their questions and it is great fun for me. I call it the ultimate ego trip for a producer.” 

Colburn said he wants viewers of the film to walk away with a better understanding of who Hemingway was as a person. 

“What I took away from MSU was an awareness, an understanding and a love for the historical process,” Colburn said. “I had a great graduate education at MSU. I don’t think it would have been matched anywhere else. 

“For me this has been one hell of a post-graduate seminar. For the rest of my life, you can talk to me about Hemingway ... and it’s a very satisfying feeling.” 

President of the Michigan Hemingway Society Chris Struble has been a friend of Colburn’s for eight years and helped with the making of the film. He said his love for Hemingway started with a love of his own. 

“It started with a girl,” Struble said. “I was trying to impress her by my wealth of American literature. I like people to come away with a little different version of Hemingway. ... We want to remind people how strong the influence of Michigan had on him.”

Dale Hull helped raise funding for the documentary. He said learning about Hemingway is important because he is an iconic figure. 

“Hemingway’s themes are all fundamental to being alive,” Hull said. “It’s about what makes us common, understanding who we are. There is just something fundamentally human about that and finding your place in nature.”

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