‘Happy Valley’ documentary explores Penn State aftermath; opens Thursday at Howell Theater

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film happy valleyLACASA Center is hosting the county-wide premiere of “Happy Valley,” a documentary about the aftermath of the Pennsylvania State University scandal, at the Historic Howell Theater this weekend.

Opening night is Thursday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m. The screening will be followed by a community panel discussion on how to help raise awareness and help prevent child abuse in Livingston County.

The film explores events following November, 2011, when the former long-time defensive coordinator of the school’s football team, Jerry Sandusky, was charged with 45 counts of child sex abuse, setting off a firestorm of accusations about who failed to protect the children in “Happy Valley.”

Director, Amir Bar-Lev, examines the shame, denial and anger — the crisis of faith — that washed over the Penn State athletic program, its beloved Head Coach, Joe Paterno, the university’s administration, and the community’s law enforcement officials.

This award-winning documentary opened at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to receive the Best Documentary Feature Award at the Sarasota Film Festival.

Members of the First National Bank Service Club are sponsoring this event. LACASA will have an informational booth set up in the theater lobby throughout the weekend.

This film is being presented as part of LACASA’s awareness activities this month to commemorate National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Happy Valley” runs through the weekend. To reserve tickets online, or to learn more, visit lacasacenter.org.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.