By: Kristen Hernandez
As I put pen to the page, I’m sitting in the exact spot on Pompano Beach that was gorgeously magnified up on the Big Screen during the opening scene of Pompano Boy. Last night, I attended the film screening which premiered at the historic Savor Cinema in Las Olas and was written and directed by South Florida native, Andrew Paul Davis.
Now a renovated former church, Savor Cinema is a small, classic style movie house reminiscent of golden age movie experiences that will transport you back in time. With just one quaint viewing room, it’s the ideal venue for private and exclusive showings.
The screening of Pompano Boy was a red-carpet affair with the actors and writer/director, all South Florida natives, some even born and raised here in Pompano, all in attendance. When the lights were dimmed and the red curtain parted, after the cheers from the audience quieted, we were all treated to a realistic drama set in authentic Pompano Beach. The writer of the film was careful to include some local hotspots and actual employees as well. Brew Fish Bar & Grille was mentioned, Wings N’ Things was a frequent meeting spot in the flick, and several shopping complexes in the neighborhood were all featured, with the highlight being the real Pompano Beach, the other side, the not-so-pretty underbelly.
The movie itself is a paradox of our backyard. Pompano is a tragically beautiful place, which by all appearances looks like the perfect paradise. Meanwhile, underneath the shimmering mirage, is a place filled with fleeting dreams, lost souls, and beautifully flawed people trying to find their way. The story reveals truth, layer by layer. It’s a tale about our broken religious beliefs, broken foster system, and two lost families, both trying to stuff the hole in their hearts with temporary fixes and devastatingly real consequences.
The ending left too many unanswered questions and felt incomplete. At times, the story was slow to reveal itself. After the credits, I was left with the sense of wanting more exploration, that it could’ve been deeper, especially knowing the writer spent 23 years immersed in the Evangelical faith and then studied child psychology as an adult. Looking back, I’ve realized it’s because I actually ended up caring about the characters and their outcome, that it is brilliant writing.
At the very least, Pompano Boy is worth checking out and is now streaming on Amazon. Even if drama isn’t your thing, just to see the places you probably visit every week, to see our incredible white sanded beach and turquoise water, perfect palm trees and frolicking iguanas, and of course, bragging rights. Our slice, our paradise, our Pompano Beach, on full display for the world to drool over. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show!