Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This routine documentary by Chris Hegedus records the much ballyhooed Town Hall Meeting between Norman Mailer defending his views in The Prisoner of Sex, and four independent-minded women, Germaine Greer among them. The intended debate was set up for raucous and raunchy goings-on well before its 1971 date. Intellectuals, lesbians, liberals, and who knows who else loaded the audience with less-than-passive viewers. One eloquent speech from Mailer managed to fight its way into the proceedings but otherwise, audience catcalls and comments and Jill Johnston's antics, especially when she cavorted and made out onstage with a few girlfriends, combined to bring the tone of the evening down to gut or gutter level, depending on one's point of view. This documentary catches it all.
accusation, antics, argument, battle-of-wills, debate, feminism, freedom-of-speech, lesbianism, liberal, round-table, speech, writer