The Secret Disco Revolution

DIRECTOR: Jamie Kastner

The 1970s saw the birth of a new cultural phenomenon—the disco music era. It brought with it new sounds, fashions, and fads, but was there a hidden agenda beneath the carefree exuberance of disco? As this vibrant and rollicking documentary argues, beyond selling records by the millions, the masterminds behind the disco revolution were aiming for nothing less than the mass liberation of gays, blacks, and women.

Featuring interviews with disco icons such as Thelma Houston and Gloria Gaynor, the doc playfully weaves together the history of disco with a fictional trio of superheroes, representing each of the classes disco aimed to liberate. They pull the strings behind the scenes to launch the revolution and accomplish their goals. They score a coup with The Village People, whose brazen campiness flaunted and broke down gender and sexual stereotypes, redefining for a generation what it meant to be a “Macho Man.” As we discover, disco was also the first overtly feminist music genre, focusing on women’s desires, feelings, and pleasure.

So was disco really a political movement after all? Let’s be real—the primary aim was to get down on the dance floor and have one hell of a party. But in letting loose and expressing themselves in an unabashed, unapologetic way, disco’s creators and fans subversively burst open the doors of acceptance, proving there’s nothing like the power of music to change the world. Shaking, dancing, and moving—that was the revolution.

— PHILIPPE GOSSELIN

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D332

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