(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.