Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 2004. Talmadge Studio. Screenplay by Talmadge Heyward. Cinematography by Steve Panariello. Produced by Andrea Dray, Talmadge Hayward, Chad Slagle, Steven Smith. Music by Mark Trotta. Film Editing by Chad Newman.
This sweet, short documentary about the tolerance capital of America (the “island of understanding”) is a valentine to both its history and its inhabitants. Director Talmadge Heyward interviews locals who have lived in Key West for generations, as well as newcomers, hearing their stories about their neighbourhoods, their neighbours and memories of the past. Key West is a city where diversity is not only tolerated but celebrated, the symbol here being the world’s largest rainbow flag which has been created to reach from coast to coast as an emblem of solidarity during the Gay Pride parade. It’s not a groundbreaking expose or a pulse-pounding thrill ride through historical detail, but it does tell an important story about the possibility for more places to be this harmonious.