At The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, LGBTQ audiences watch a production of the last week of Jesus Christ in a grand amphitheater. Inside the nearby Eureka Live Underground club, the “hillbilly Studio 54,” drag queens sing songs of worship. All the while, a 65-foot high sculpture of Jesus Christ casts a benevolent shadow.
The complexity of this tiny community nestled in the Ozark Mountains is traced with a delicate touch by directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher. They use the co-habitation of these seemingly disparate lifestyles as an opportunity not to draw distinctions between people, but to revel in the dazzling plumage of humanity. Buttressed by empathetic interviews and boisterous scenes of pageantry, the the two filmmakers and the citizens of Eureka Springs fabulously smash stereotypes and challenge cliché assumptions. Together they have created a film—and a city—built on love, faith, and good ol’ fashioned American showmanship. Narrated by Mx. Justin Vivian Bond.