You’re at each other’s throats, but you’re on the same team, experiencing the same pain. Comradery in grief can be difficult to perceive and that’s exactly what affects the characters in Brad Forenza’s new film, Breaking Points.
Anthony and Devin have just lost one of their best friends to suicide. Devin wants only to forget the tragedy and move on as quickly as possible, even going as far as to condemn their friend for making, what he thinks, was a selfish choice. Anthony vehemently rejects this and wants nothing more than for his friend to be remembered and acknowledged.
UPDATE: In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month and LGBT Pride Breaking Points has been released for free via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMyEZVjHEFA
In the opening scene, their friend’s mother, played by Real Housewife of New Jersey Dolores Catania, gives a heartfelt eulogy. She encourages funeral goers to “keep [their] kids close, because no one cares.” This speech informs Anthony’s attitude and goal to memorialize his friend, as well as chastise Devin for his apathy.
However, as we get to know our characters better, we come to understand that just because both of them are compelled to grieve in different ways, it doesn’t mean that either of them are wrong or right. Grief and its various forms, are in many ways, as dense and as complicated as suicide itself.
Leon Glover and Joshua Ray Garcia embody the character and excellently convey the conflict racking each of their minds.
When asked about casting, Brad responded, “I never set out to make a statement about diversity in casting, but as production continued, I came to understand that diversity was an important part of the story. I had this wonderful potpourri of actors participating in the film and what that said to me was that gay people can come in as many different forms and personalities as everyone else.”
This rainbow of actors, as Brad put it, adds a whole other layer to the story. Normalizing the gay experience works not only in favor of gay people, but everyone. Although you might not look like Anthony, be attracted to the same people as Devin or hold the same values as either of them, the film shows that there are inherently human emotions that paint a fabulous picture of unity and commonality.
Brad Forenza accomplishes covering all of these hard-hitting, philosophical themes, in an economical 34 minutes. I had chance to speak with Brad and we discussed the film’s humble beginnings as a 10-minute play. “I gravitate most towards Norman Lear and Stephen Sondheim,” he explained, “they were always able to tell relevant and sociopolitical stories through local experiences.”
You May Also Like: Interview with Dolores Catania
Breaking Points, in conjunction with all its many layered elements is, appropriately, a local production. In addition to Dolores Catania, the rest of the cast and crew are mostly native to Northern New Jersey. “If you have the time and resources,” Brad commented, “just do it yourself. I’ve now seen a project to completion, largely thanks to the help of my team and community. It’ll serve to jumpstart whatever I want to do next and, again, I did it with people who were local to this area.”
Brad hopes that knowledge of this fact will show other artists that it is possible to pursue their projects.
See Brad’s other work at: AuthenticallyBrad.com and follow him on Twitter @BradForenza for updates on where you can see Breaking Points.
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