This Academy Award-winning documentary chronicles the story of Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester’s fight to give her earned pension benefits to her partner, Stacie.
Hester spent 25 years investigating tough cases in Ocean County, New Jersey, protecting the rights of victims and putting her life on the line. She had no reason to expect that in the last year of her life, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, her final battle for justice would be for the woman she loved.
The documentary film FREEHELD follows Laurel’s struggle to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree. With less than six months to live, Laurel refuses to back down when her elected officials – the Ocean County Freeholders—deny her request to leave her pension to Stacie, an automatic option for heterosexual married couples.
As Laurel’s plight intensifies, it spurs a media frenzy and a passionate advocacy campaign. At the same time, FREEHELD captures a quieter, personal story: that of the deep love between Laurel and Stacie as they face the reality of losing each other.
“Freeheld is a quietly understated work of art that packs a punch you will feel for days.”
“Cynthia Wade presents perhaps the single best, most coherent argument for GLBT equality. If Freeheld isn’t Oscar-worthy… I don’t know what is!”
—Daniel Kent, Out & About Nashville
“Freeheld is simply an amazing documentary, a true piece of unscripted reality, with all its blemishes and beauty intact. It is a documentary that pays fitting tribute to a true hero, a woman who refused to compromise and who ultimately helped to secure for all of us a little bit more of the equality we all richly deserve. A+”
“OUTSTANDING… An absolutely amazing film…Showing the injustice of discrimination faced by same sex couples by personalizing it with real human faces and stories is the most effective tool for changing public opinion.”
—Seattle Gay News
“A heart-stopping documentary.”
—Philadelphia Gay News