The ordinance and subsequent battle in South Florida between liberal supporters and conservative singer Anita Bryant's Save Our Children group, thrust gay rights into the national spotlight for the first time and the film documents the LGBT movement through the present. Banned by law from holding any public or private teaching jobs, as well as several other professions, and hounded by a state Senate committee headed by a former governor, Florida’s homosexual population lived in fear and solitude. After the ordinance was passed, A backlash quickly ensued, led by Anita Bryant. The documentary focusses on that aspect. Soon the focus shifts to the 80s AIDS crisis. Left without support, gay men and their sympathizers organized to fight the disease and to comfort the afflicted. This effort, according to “The Day It Snowed In Miami,” is what turned the tide. With improved organization and more research, effective treatment eventually followed. With treatment came longer survival times. With longer survival came a renewed need to focus on a future, and that future increasingly meant demanding acceptance as equals in society. The story ends when the motion to reinstate the county’s human rights ordinance was passed 6-5.
Though dealing with an important and emotional aspect, the documentary felt very preachy and long. The first half of the section was insightful and fit the title. When the film started going into AIDS epidemic and other things, it just felt that this is stretching way beyond what it was originally planned for. I agree that historically that is THE single most important piece of history that defined a lot of things for gay community, but it seems to me at least that it wasn’t supposed to be the focus of the documentary, which it ended up being. Also, for someone like me, who did not have any of this context before, it would have been better if the documentary was a little more simplified to understand. I felt a lot of political terms were used which did leave me a bit confused many times.
Overall, still a very important documentary which helps us understand another chapter in history of gay rights movement, this one focusing on Florida. (5/10)