For some reason this documentary has come up in conversation. I watched it when it became available on Netflix and it was a very interesting look into Plato’s Retreat. I am too young to have ever attended any events there so I can offer no first hand knowledge into what the club was like. Friends that I know don’t offer many details of the club – but perhaps that is because what happens inside of a swinger party generally stays there.
The reviews on the documentary are widely not good – but most seem to object to the subject matter. There is one scene that was shot inside of the group play room that all reviews seem to deem “raunchy and sleazy.” We are watching a documentary on events that occurred 20 years ago – and let’s face it folks – people did not practice the same hygiene back then. The club was never touted as having the “sexiest” people. Couples went there to hook up and be part of swing club scene.
The run time on this documentary is only 80 minutes, so if you have a little spare time, you may want to check it out.
Mathew Kaufman and Jon Hart direct this documentary that chronicles the rise, heyday and decline of New York City’s Plato’s Retreat, the legendary sex club that catered to adventurous heterosexual couples in the 1970s and beyond. Featuring frank interviews with former members and graphic footage of the club’s activities, the film explores how a once-thriving center of free love imploded amid drugs, tangled relationships and the rise of AIDS.