American Heartbreak The Film

American Heartbreak

The following is a portion of an article published by WKSU public radio and posted on their website.
By Kabir Bhatia
Published April 5, 2022
The documentary explores another voice from the Kent State May 4 shootings

“Glenn was a very popular professor at Kent State University,” according to Spector. "He was old school. He came of age in the 1940s. He was a believer in his government; in institutions. On May 4, 1970, he was also in charge of the faculty marshals. Those were a group of volunteers that came together that weekend as there was tension rising on the campus, and off campus. They were sort of like peacekeepers. Glenn Frank was known for stepping between the National Guard and the students after the shootings, when the guard was preparing to launch another assault."
According to Omori, "when people talk about the film, I said it illustrates a number of things to me: it shows the power of a good teacher. As Harlan said, he was well respected. He was beloved. And he wasn't ideological, but I think the students listened because they respected him as a teacher, and they felt that while he may not agree with them politically, he definitely respected their point of view. And as pointed out in the that not only were many of his students in that crowd, but his own son was in the crowd."
Work on "American Heartbreak" began in 2020 as Spector and Omori planned coverage related to the 50th commemoration of the shootings. They experienced the film in Kent State's May 4 Visitor Center, which essentially closes with Prof. Frank's plea to the students, “Jesus Christ, I don't want to be a part of this!”
“[That's where] our film begins. When I look at the issues [and political divide] of that day, I think it reminds us that we were here before,” Omori said.
Omori wonders where the Glenn Franks of today are. “He was a true citizen. I think he put citizenship above partisanship and above ideology. That, to me, is the definition of patriotism.”
"Our story begins with his speech," Spector added. “What happened to him after May 4th. How did it change him? He was never the same.”

This film is best viewed on an ipad or desktop computer.

Professor Glenn Frank saved hundreds of lives in the aftermath of the Kent State University shootings in 1970 but paid the price when his country broke his heart.
This documentary features Alan Frank, Sandy Halem, Lori Boes, and Laura Davis. It was selected to be shown at the Cleveland International Film Festival (2022). It won the Critics' Choice Award at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival (2022). The Documentary was directed and produced by Dale Omori and Harlan Spector.

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