The writer and producer of an autobiographical movie will screen his film and discuss its emotional impacts via a panel discussion at 2 p.m. Feb. 13 in Oklahoma City University’s Kerr McGee Auditorium in the Meinders School of Business at McKinley Avenue and N.W. 27th Street. The event is free and open to the public.
“Heaven’s Rain” is the story of Brooks Douglass and his search for justice after witnessing the murder of his parents in 1979. Douglass, who became the youngest member of the Oklahoma Senate in state history in 1990, portrays lessons of forgiveness and reconciliation through his movie.
The plot focuses on his family while he was growing up as the son of a Baptist minister. When he was 16 years old, two drifters broke into the family’s rural home and murdered his parents, leaving Brooks and his younger sister severely injured but alive.
“As devastating as this crime and its aftermath were, ultimately, ‘Heaven’s Rain’ isn't a crime story,” Douglass said. “It's an uplifting story that pays homage to the memory of our parents and the message of love and forgiveness they lived and taught us.”
Douglass earned his juris doctorate from OCU. After retiring from the Oklahoma Senate in 2002, he earned a master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Douglass now resides in California, where he is pursuing a career in cinema.
Following the screening of the film, Douglass will join a panel discussion to talk about the main elements of the movie including its legal and moral impacts. Other members of the panel will be Mike Turpen, former attorney general who argued the state’s case against the murderers on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Robin Meyers, OCU professor of rhetoric. The discussion will be moderated by Judge Arlene Johnson of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.
“The legal issues depicted in ‘Heaven’s Rain’ remain relevant today,” Douglass said. “I look forward to a discussion of how justice can best be administered while the rights of victims are honored.”
“Heaven’s Rain” will premiere in Texas and Oklahoma this spring with a wider release to follow. To learn more, visit www.HeavensRainMovie.com.
For more information about the panel discussion call (405) 208-5472 or visit law.okcu.edu. The event is co-sponsored by the OCU Student Government Association, Student Bar Association, OCU Filmmakers Guild and the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film & Literature.