big joy: life and work of james broughton


The Big Joy Project, supported in part by 4Culture’s Individual Artist Projects program,  is a feature-length documentary and interactive website about the life, work and impact of prominent artist James Broughton. The film explores Broughton’s joyous verve and myriad of works, while adhering to his personal motto that life should be “adventure, not predicament.” Broughton was an influential poet, playwright and filmmaker who influenced and inspired those around him living through the Depression, the McCarthy Era, the Beat and Hippie movements as well as the Gay liberation struggle in San Francisco.

Big Joy is the project of Stephen Silha a freelance writer, self-proclaimed “facilitator and futurist” based out of Vashon Island. He met James Broughton in 1989, and remained a close friend until his death a decade later. Inspired by Broughton’s philosophy “follow your own weird” and the movements he espoused and the impact left behind, Silha began a biography project which morphed into a website and film.

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Image: © 2011 James Broughton