Winner 1997

The Castro


A few decades ago San Francisco’s Castro district was home to a quiet neighborhood of working-class immigrants. Today it is the internationally known “gay hometown,” and this 90-minute documentary conveys the rich, complex tale of the Castro’s transformation. Using rare archival film and fresh contemporary footage, producer/director/writer Peter Stein tells the story of how an overlooked little borough came to mark the crossroads of a social and political movement. With associate producer David Condon and editor Dawn Logsdon, Stein chronicles the evolution of a new community, and in so doing, they captured the universal struggle of emerging communities to achieve identity, survival and ultimate acceptance. The Castro gives important historical context to events in the post-World War II years, as the politically aware gay underground began the transformation of both the neighborhood and American culture. It follows the district through civil rights struggles, the assassination of Harvey Milk, and the AIDS epidemic, to its current sense of community and connectedness. For presenting an informative, pointed and provocative look at one San Francisco neighborhood, that reveals how it became the cornerstone for an entire movement, a Peabody goes to KQED-TV for The Castro.