“Broken Heart Land” film

    December 1, 2014 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
    Loft Cinema
    3233 East Speedway Boulevard
    Tucson, AZ 85716
    Loft Cinema

    Commemorate World AIDS Day with a special free screening of the acclaimed new documentary Broken Heart Land, featuring a post-film Skype discussion with director Jeremy Stulberg.

    Broken Heart Land is a new documentary that explores the response of friends, family and community members to gay teen Zack Harrington’s suicide in Norman, Oklahoma in 2010.

    Zack was a well-liked, openly gay teenager who carried a secret he was unable to disclose to his family or community prior to his death – he was HIV positive. Against the backdrop of a town bitterly divided on the issue of homosexuality, Zack’s grief-stricken parents, both conservative Republicans and military veterans, are forced to reconcile their own social and political beliefs with their son’s death. Determined to understand him, they discover a diary, which paints a portrait of a boy in crisis, and the chilling secret that Zach kept hidden for almost two years before his death. When an outspoken conservative citizen runs for City Council, the Harringtons decide to join the politically active group, “MOMS: Mothers of Many.” Over the course of the local election season, Zack’s family, once private and politically conservative, come out of their own closet, moving from private denial to a climactic and very public acceptance of their son’s legacy. (Dir. by Jerry Stulberg & Randy Stulberg, 2014, 77 mins., Not Rated)

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Very powerful, heart wrenching documentary about this young gay teen, who surprised the town by suddenly committing suicide. His own words about his struggle to come out and be accepted, but also his hidden secret of being HIV positive is presented, with the family coming to grips about his death. Director Jeremy Stulberg was styped in from NY to answer audience questions about how he chose to do the documentary, about the family members, filming in Bible-belt Oklahoma, etc. About 35 people in the audience to see this film at the Loft. At the end of the film, stats said that AIDS had increased 112% in Oklahoma in recent years, so the battle is not over.

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