enCounter: North

 

Following his exploration of Northern Greenland in 1986 Dr. S. Allen Counter, a Harvard Professor and noted neurophysiologist and explorer, wrote the book North Pole Legacy that chronicles the parallel stories of Admiral Robert Peary and his African American Assistant Matthew Henson, who together struck the North Pole on April 6, 1909 after 23-years and seven expeditions. The book also tells the moving story of how Dr. Counter discovered both Peary and Henson had fathered sons with Inuit women during their Arctic exploration.  The book presents Dr. Counter's experience meeting these 80-year-old descendants of Peary and Henson in 1986, bringing them to the US to meet their relatives and fulfill their lifetime dream of knowing their respective families. Ultimately Dr. Counter would right a huge wrong that had occurred following the Pole discovery, when Matthew Henson, soley because he was a black man, was totally ignored nor given any recognition for the extraordinary accomplishment of reaching the North Pole with Peary. Dr. Counter's relentless pursuit of the government and military authorities led to his petition to then President Ronald Reagan to have Matthew Henson's remains properly reinterred at Arlington National Cemetery alongside Admiral Peary.  The president granted this in 1987 and members of Matthew Henson's family were present to honor his memory.

 

  Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith with Dr. Allen Counter           Dr. Allen Counter with Admiral Melvin Williams, USN, Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award

enCounter: North, written by John Kuri in a development partnership with KSW Entertainment LLC, is inspired by North Pole Legacy.  The screenplay tells the Henson/ Peary story as well the discovery by Dr. Counter of the Henson/ Peary descendants, but goes well beyond this telling the life story of Dr. Allen Counter— noted Harvard University neuroscientist, globally acclaimed explorer, extraordinary raconteur, his two marriages, early fatherhood with his three daughters, and as the highly regarded man among men he was.

Henson/ Peary route to the North Pole: Heavy black line center. (450 miles on frozen sea.)                   Glacier adrift off Greenland in the Nares Strait.