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March 1, 2019 Comments Off on Drag Queens and The Passion Play Collide In the Ozarks With “The Gospel of Eureka” Views: 2557 *Dragolicious, *Resist. Protest. Obstruct. Inform., *Seattle Cinemaland, Arts & Entertainment, Drag, Film, Film Events

Drag Queens and The Passion Play Collide In the Ozarks With “The Gospel of Eureka”


Are you horny for Jesus?

Folks in the Bible Belt get RAAAAAL passionate about Jesus and they like to put on Passion Plays (ie “The Trial and Crucifixion of Christ” enacted by local actors and  made popular by a pageant in Germany and in recent years, by a gory high grossing movie made by Mel Gibson). 

They’ve been putting on The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, Arkansas for decades…for those of y’all who are unaware, Eureka Springs is a cute little tourist town in the heart of the Ozark Mountains of north Arkansas…it’s just a skip and a jump away from Branson, Missouri where all those washed up country western entertainers make millions putting on shows for the folks who voted for Donald Trump and Fayetteville, Arkansas the corporate home of Wal-mart.

Eureka Springs is sort of an anomaly though…it’s smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt in a very conservative if not backward part of the country but it’s also home to a lot of hippy, arty folks who are significantly more liberal than your average Arkansas resident…in fact, some of them are more progressive than some former Governors of the state!


We tease, but Eureka Springs is a lovely place…it’s a charming little oasis in the Ozarks…very scenic and the town itself is adorable and full of arty charm. And, touristy stuff, too. I mean, if there are tourists, there must be fudge and refrigerator magnets to take home. Right?

There’s also a slew of gay folk who call Eureka Springs home (uh, if there are arty farty/hippy dippy around, you’ll usually find gay folks…) and while the good god fearing folks of Eureka Springs put on their Passion Play, there’s a bunch of queer locals putting on their own version at the Eureka Live Underground, a club called the “hillbilly Studio 54” where drag queens and other LGBTQ locals perform their own version of the Passion of Christ.  And, filmmakers Michael Palmieri & Donal Mosher have now made a charming film about the residents of Eureka Springs and how they all practice their individual religious beliefs.

Yes….it’s that rare thing; a film that examines LGBTQ people of faith!

The Gospel of Eureka has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences and it makes a stop in Seattle starting this weekend, for a six day run at Northwest Film Forum on Capitol Hill. The film (which runs a brisk hour and 15 minutes, which is frankly a great running time for most feature length docs; few need to be longer than that! And, I digress…) opens Friday March 1 at 7:30pm. There are two screenings on Saturday, March 2nd with one of the film’s co-directors on hand, Donal Mosher, to answer questions at the evening screening. (There’s also an after party at queer/bar!)

More info and ticket links below.

We do encourage you to check it out at NW Film Forum but if you can’t be aware it will play on PBS’s POV series this summer.





Fri Mar 01: 
Sat Mar 02: 
Sun Mar 03: 
Mon Mar 04: 
Tue Mar 05: 
Wed Mar 06: 

$12 General Admission
$9 Student/Senior
$7 Member

1h 15m

Visiting Artist

** Director Donal Mosher in attendance for a Q&A at the Mar. 2, 7:30pm screening! After-party at Queer Bar that night – hang onto your proof of ticket purchase for a drink special 😗 **


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.

Description by Andy Stark. All images on this page courtesy of Kino Lorber.

Fun trivia: The Gospel of Eureka is narrated by Justin Vivian Bond, who is a tour alumnus of the Sister Spit spoken word tour, the 2019 edition of which will come to NWFF on Mar. 2 alongside Eureka!

“A miracle indeed… It’s a comedy and a tragedy, though the people involved aren’t necessarily on rigid opposite sides. Better to say that everyone has some level of fluidity, not just in terms of personal belief, though they’ll speak their dogmatic minds if the occasion demands it. — Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter

“One of the more fascinating examinations of American religion and the meaning of faith in recent cinema.” – Nathanael Hood, Unseen Films

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