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Brokeback Mountain

Dir. Ang Lee 134 min R

2005 Focus Features

To celebrate Banned Books Week 2023, Film Streams will host a showing of Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain (2005), an adaptation of the 1997 short story by author Annie Proulx. Immediately following, a panel of local library professionals will discuss the current state of book bans and challenges, intellectual freedom, and the right to read.


Nancy Novotny (She/her)

Nancy Novotny received a B.A. in English from Creighton University and an MLS from East Carolina University. She has a variety of teaching experience: GED classes in both Omaha and rural Kentucky, high school religion, kindergarten, test prep, and piano. Nancy was an elementary school librarian in Arizona and Nebraska for 10 years and has been at the Omaha Public Library for 7 years. She is currently the Youth and Family Services Manager at OPL.

Dr. Ferial Pearson (She/her)

Dr. Pearson earned her teaching degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and both her Master's Degree and Ed.D from UNO. She taught English and Reading at Omaha South High School and was a talent advisor for the Avenue Scholars Foundation at Ralston High School. She has been teaching full-time at UNO since 2013. She has earned three national and several local awards for her work in education and social justice, including the Kennedy Center's Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award. She is the founder of the Secret Kindness Agents Project, which is the subject of two published books, her dissertation, and a TEDx Talk. The project is in over 500 K-16 schools worldwide and has been highlighted by Hallmark, Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, Parents Magazine, Medium, Midwest Living, and SPLC's Learning for Justice Magazine.

Elly Roberts (She/her)

Elly Roberts currently serves as Omaha Public Library's Outreach Librarian. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and has worked in libraries, bars, nonprofits, and political campaigns for a decade. She serves on Film Streams' Education Committee, and her favorite movie treats are Junior Mints and popcorn.

Mark Sorensen (He/him)

Mark Sorensen has worked at Omaha Public Library for 18 years. As a Reference Services Librarian, his current work focuses on information literacy; prior assignments include services for small businesses, curating a library art gallery, and cleaning up every kind of mysterious stain. He studied history at Washington University in St. Louis and bookbinding and conservation in San Gemini, Italy. When not at work, he can usually be found playing the French horn.

Synopsis of the film: In 1963, rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and ranch hand Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) were hired by rancher Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid) as sheep herders in Wyoming. One night on Brokeback Mountain, Jack makes a drunken pass at Ennis that is eventually reciprocated. Though Ennis marries his longtime sweetheart, Alma (Michelle Williams), and Jack marries a fellow rodeo rider (Anne Hathaway), the two men keep up their tortured and sporadic affair over the course of 20 years.

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