For teens Thomas, Tamara, and Gabby, home is an impoverished town on the Navajo reservation, and leaving means separating from family, tradition and the land that has been theirs for generations. Erica Scharf's Up Heartbreak Hill is a moving look at a new generation of Americans struggling to be both Native and modern.
Up Heartbreak Hill - Coming of age in the contemporary Native American world
Up Heartbreak Hill chronicles the lives of three Native American teenagers in Navajo, New Mexico - Thomas, an elite runner; Tamara, an academic superstar; and Gabby, an aspiring photographer - as they navigate their senior year at a reservation high school.
As graduation nears, they must decide whether or not to stay in their community - a place inextricably woven into the fiber of their beings - or leave in pursuit of opportunities elsewhere. Largely isolated from mainstream America, they hesitate to separate from their families and traditions, rooted to home in equal parts by love, obligation, and fear. Tribal elders urge members of the younger generation to leave - acquire an education or learn a trade - and return home with the skills to help their people. But, with a poverty rate of 65% and a per capita income under $6,200, Navajo has few prospects.
Up Heartbreak Hill is a moving look at a new generation of Americans struggling with what it means to be Native American in the contemporary world.
Special Features include...
Interview with Director/Producer Erica Scharf
Q&A with Thomas and Tamara
- Thomas's Track Race
- Tamara's Cross-Country Race
This DVD is 83 minutes in length, the broadcast version was 60 minutes.
Producer: Long Distance Films
Production Year: 2012
Number of Discs: 1
Length: 83 minutes
Subtitle Languages: English (SDH)
Audio Format: 5.1 Surround
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen