The Godfather of Disco  {Godfather of Disco, The}
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The Godfather of Disco
Godfather of Disco, The

USA, 2007, 82 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: AIDS / HIV, Biography / History, Dance, Documentary, Gay, Music / Music Video
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Gene Graham

From Mel Cheren’s invaluable contribution to the New York dance music scene in the 1970s to his courageous role in the fight against AIDS in the 1980s, The Godfather of Disco explores an era when legends were born, a passionate community was cultivated, and lives were overturned by a mysterious, deadly disease.
Editor-turned-documentarian Gene Graham offers up personal, insightful interviews with Cheren and other movers and shakers of the flourishing disco scene in tracking the career of this musical innovator who instinctively knew what people on the dance floor wanted. A key investor in the legendary Paradise Garage nightclub and founder of the seminal dance music label West End Records, Cheren had his finger on the pulse of a burgeoning generation that crossed cultures and sexual orientations — and changed music forever. Today’s hip hop and electronic music would not be the same without Cheren and colleagues such as legendary DJ Larry Levan and former partner and Paradise Garage owner Michael Brody.
As the tragedy of AIDS struck, Cheren channeled his efforts to the fight against the disease through programs like 24 Hours for Life and LifeBEAT, becoming an important voice of a community too enthusiastic and full of life to be struck down mid-boogie. Highlighted throughout the film, it is the exuberant, captivating music that Cheren helped cultivate that evokes the true feeling of the time — a time when the greatest thing to do was dance. — KRISTINE KOLTON


AIDS Housing Alliance San Francisco


Medium Rare Music

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