Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Fourth Wall (2023) Tribeca 2023

Episode one of a documentary series on the Sullivanians, aka The Fourth Wall, a “psychotherapy sex cult,” which was located on Manhattan's Upper West Side during the 1970s and ’80s, before it imploded spectacularly in 1991.  The series is the work of director Luke Meyer and Keith Newton, the son of Saul Newton, the leader of the cult.

This is a wild story that most people probably haven't heard of before. I had forgotten the story until I saw the local news stories in the film, then it all came back to me...or part of it did since it's clear from this first part there is a lot more to this story then anyone knew.

The group was formed by and around Saul Newton, a well know psychologist, began to explore alternate social grouping during the 1960's. Kids were not raised by their parents and the parents alternated partners every night. There is much more to it than that and Meyer and the younger Newton dig deep, interviewing members of the group, pulling together archival footage and other documents.  It's a hell of a story...

...and I want the rest. 

Forgive me I have mixed feelings about covering episodic shows at festivals. I love to do it because I find great things, and I hate it because I don't always see more than an episode or two. I loved this show a great deal, but only seeing one episode was a real tease. I got to the end and wanted more. I wanted to know what I'm missing.

FOURTH WALL is great stuff. I recommend it, assuming you realize you are going to want more.

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