The Gospel of Eureka
A 66-foot-tall statue of Jesus Christ stands with his arms outstretched. Nearby, The Great Passion Play is performed in a 4,000-seat amphitheater (making it the largest outdoor Passion Play performance in the country). But this amphitheater isn’t the only space in the quaint town of Eureka Springs that throws a massively kitschy religious party. Gospel-inspired drag numbers at the local gay bar have become a staple in this eclectic Arkansas community of bikers, Evangelicals, and queers, who all seem to exist in relative harmony.
The Gospel of Eureka focuses on this peculiar cultural melting pot just as the town prepares for a historic vote on an anti-discrimination ordinance. Despite a profound chasm in political and religious viewpoints, the townspeople of Eureka Springs are alike in their warmth, charm, and sometimes, their blissful lack of self-awareness, making the film by turns hilarious and deeply touching.
Expanding their short film Peace in the Valley, filmmaking team Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher directed, wrote, edited, shot, and scored The Gospel of Eureka together. (They had previously collaborated on Off Label and Film Independent Spirit Award nominee October Country.) As the cherry on top of this delightful confection, the enchanting Mx Justin Vivian Bond, of the legendary cabaret duo Kiki and Herb, serves as the narrator.
— ELLIOTT BREEDEN
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
- Premiere Status: Bay Area