Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri
LGBTQ, Music, Religion
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Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is home to two recurring spectacles: passion plays and drag shows. This exuberant documentary explores the divide—and overlap—between Christian and civil liberties, faith of one kind and faith of another, as evangelicals and queens alike pull back the curtains on their lives.
When you see the 67-foot statue called the Christ of the Ozarks, you’ll know you’ve reached the amphitheater where the story of Jesus has been reenacted every season for 50 years. It may take you a little longer to find Eureka Live Underground, but locals can likely direct you to the gay bar with ease.
The stage would seem to be a set for a showdown in this small town. But as Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher (October Country, DFF32) reveal, the residents here are finding surprising ways to co-exist, negotiating their differences through political action, partnerships—and performances like you wouldn’t believe. Then again, a little belief is precisely what’s called for.
Teenager Jared is the loving, dutiful son of a Baptist preacher (Russell Crowe) and an equally devout wife (Nicole Kidman)—until, that is, he’s outed and forced into a gay-conversion program in Joel Edgerton’s emotional adaptation of Garrard Conley’s namesake memoir.
As much a poignant ode to community as it is a thrill ride, this documentary portrait of a small-town stock-car racetrack—and the blue-collar drivers who’ve formed a family there—also examines the impact of real-estate development on the lives we struggle to build beyond its reach.
Teenage girls Kena and Ziki long for something more than marriage and motherhood; their ambition and independence unites them as they navigate conservative Kenyan society. But when their friendship blossoms into love, they know they will have to make hard choices in this moving coming-of-age drama.