Bumblefuck USA


‘Bumblefuck, USA’ is dedicated to my cousin, Matthew Lee Johnston. As an only child, I grew up with Matt, and I always felt like he was my little brother. At the age of 24, Matt committed suicide after coming out of the closet as gay in our hometown in Iowa. Matt was an open and loving person and was loved by many. He was well liked at school, played both center and middle guard on his high school football team, attended mass regularly as a devout Catholic, and participated actively in politics as a passionate Republican. Matt was also gay. While we will probably never know exactly why he chose to take his own life, through making this film I hoped to better understand what it must have been like for him to struggle with his sexuality in small town America. To approach Matt’s experience, the film combines a fictional story with documentary interviews of gay and lesbian residents of Iowa. My Dutch crew and I spent a summer in Iowa getting to know the gay and lesbian community from the area while making the film. It is thanks to this community and their commitment to share their lives and stories that this film could be made.