FEATURED FILM

BROKEN HEART LAND

Directors Jeremy Stulberg, Randy Stulberg
Producer Eric Juhola
Producer Jeremy Stulberg
Producer Randy Stulberg
Cinematographer Jason Oldak
Editor Jeremy Stulberg
Runtime 82 minutes
Country USA

Soon after the suicide of gay teenager Zack Harrington, his family discovered that, unbeknownst to them, he’d attended an unusually heated town council meeting. Norman, Oklahoma, is, as a reporter for the local newspaper says early on in Broken Heart Land, a progressive college town. But a proposed LGBTQ History month prompted a succession of angry opponents to step up to the mic, condemning this “special treatment” and equating being gay with the spread of AIDS. “I hope there was never a time that he did not feel accepted by us, because he always was,” says Zack’s mother, Nancy. “There are a lot of unanswered questions.” The Harrington family’s personal struggle to mourn Zack and confront his secrets becomes intertwined with a sense of urgency about Norman’s changing political landscape; that fateful council meeting inspired prominent conservative community members to run for seats. The election divides Norman into camps, and the formerly conservative Harringtons find their politics changing. The film uses powerful excerpts from Zack’s journals and video art to reconstruct how this environment might have made him feel; immediately surrounded by accepting family and friends, but painfully isolated from this larger community confident in its intolerance. -Rachel Lazar

Scheduled to attend: directors Randy Stulberg and Jeremy Stulberg, producer Eric Juhola, publicist David Ninh, subjects Nancy and Van Harrington.

Community Partners: The Fledgling Fund, PFLAG, New Orleans LGBT Community Center