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Broken Heart Land    cover photo

Broken Heart Land 2014

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Outcast Films, 511 6th Avenue Suite 398, New York, NY 10011; 646-512-2596
Produced by Jeremy Stulberg and Randy Stulberg
Directed by Jeremy Stulberg and Randy Stulberg
DVD, color, 88 min.

Middle School - General Adult
AIDS/ HIV, Hommosexuality, Suicide, Activism

Date Entered: 12/21/2016

Reviewed by Johnnie N. Gray, Director of Media Services, Christopher Newport University

This documentary starts with the tragic death of Zach Harrington, a gay teen, and the issues it raised in Norman, Oklahoma. It focuses on the family left behind and the community that is largely conservative. The viewer sees a first hand account of how suicide affects a family and how they reflect on their own values and adapt to the loss. Zach’s parents put their energy into expressing grief and hope in different ways.

Much of the narrative focuses on the city council and the weeks leading up to the election of a council member. A group of mothers become activists in the election that pits conservatives against liberal ideologies.

Points of view from both sides are expressed in interviews as well as Zach’s journal and his reflections on his life. Broken Heart Land is a notable documentary that illustrates the current divide in the United States and the importance of advocacy. Appropriate for high school and college aged viewers, this film is an excellent classroom conversation starter for LGBT rights. Highly recommended for library collections.