Do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight. If you suspect that this nugget is not merely the chorus from a disco song but also philosophy to live by, you might be ready for The Secret Disco Revolution. This documentary attempts to place the glitter ball and “The Hustle” back in their proper cultural context. Or any cultural context. Director Jamie Kastner straps on his platform shoes and pukka-shell necklace and goes to bat for a much-maligned musical era, which, he argues, has more social significance than we give credit.
There was a secret agenda behind disco, Kastner suggests: The music was a Trojan horse for the advancement of gay rights, African-American artistry, and women’s sexuality. All of a sudden, “Right Back Where We Started From” might need another listen. Kastner plays it tongue-in-cheek. To balance the erudite academics on screen, he includes vignettes of three actors, costumed as the worst Mod Squad imitators ever, who wander around carrying a disco ball while a narrator describes—in hilariously sober tones—the plan to smuggle the gay/black/female revolution into America.