One of the most interesting developments in documentary film this year has been Field of Vision, a new documentary platform from Oscar-winning “Citizenfour” filmmaker Laura Poitras, former Hot Docs director of programming Charlotte Cook and filmmaker and Cinema Eye co-founder AJ Schnack.
Developed in collaboration with First Look Media and the journalism web site The Intercept, Field of Vision plans to commission 40-50 short-form documentaries a year. The latest is Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher’s fascinating “Peace in the Valley,” which follows the inhabitants of Eureka Springs, Arkansas as they prepare for a historic vote on a LGBT rights ordinance. The town is unique beyond this ordinance, though. It also hosts the country’s largest outdoor Passion Play.
“Compared to American ideas of what the South is, that place is an absurd carnival,” Mosher said about Eureka Springs in this interview. “Even if you don’t have an idea, it’s an absurd carnival. And people there know it, and treasure it. And that’s something I hope comes across. The way people feel about the place they live in.”
“It’s evangelicals and bikers and the LGBT community essentially existing in basic harmony,” added Palmieri. “You know — I’ll leave you alone if you leave me alone. But then something comes to a head like this, and all of a sudden everybody’s got an opinion. And they were vocalizing and having an open conversation.”
Watch the documentary below: