CON­TI­NEN­TAL

NOW Magazine - Hot Docs - - Hot Docs Film Festival Reviews -

(Mal­colm In­gram, USA, Canada). 95 min­utes. Rat­ing: NNNN Mal­colm In­gram ( Small Town Gay Bar, Bear Na­tion) has hit upon doc­u­men­tary gold in this look at the his­tory of NYC’s leg­endary gay bath­house, which thrived at the height of the sex­ual revo­lu­tion in the 70s and be­came a hot spot for so­phis­ti­cates to see bur­geon­ing stars like Bette Mi­dler (caught in archival footage but not in­ter­viewed), La­Belle and fu­ture “God­fa­ther of House Mu­sic,” DJ Frankie Knuck­les.

Ar­tic­u­late, queer talk­ing heads like Ed­mund White and Michael Musto put the place in a postS­tonewall, pre-AIDS con­text, and there’s some fas­ci­nat­ing ma­te­rial about raids and po­lice bribery.

But the film’s heart and soul comes from the Con­ti­nen­tal’s founder, opera- singer-turned- en­tre­pre­neur Steve Ostrow, who had a com­plex fam­ily

life and ad­mits he’s most proud of help­ing to change the laws against ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity. Ma­te­rial on his life after the club pro­vides a touch­ing, heart­warm­ing coda you won’t see com­ing. GS Apr 28, 9:15 pm, The Bloor Hot Docs Cin­ema; Apr 30, 4 pm, Sco­tia­bank The­atre 4; May 5, 8 pm, Sco­tia­bank The­atre 4.

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