Once upon a time a first-time filmmaker decided to make a "stag film" (as they were called back then) using color and sound and real lighting and expensive 35-millimeter film stock. This was unheard of.
So he got some backers, found a first-time actress with a unique talent, and drafted his production assistant into co-starring with her. For $25,000 on a 6-day production shoot he created a light-hearted, sexy, humorous -- though not particularly good -- high quality stag film.
Then a funny thing happened.
He showed the film in New York, and authorities closed it down. But not before it got reviewed by a New York newspaper. That made more people want to see it, and it opened elsewhere.
And got closed down again. Which made more people want to see it. The Nixon White House decided to make a test case out of "Deep Throat" and launched an expensive 5-month trial accusing the co-star, Harry Reems, of obscenity.
Which made even more people want to see it.
The whole thing snowballed as people reacted to the buzz about this film, a buzz entirely created by the self-important bigots who thought it ought not to be seen and tried to prevent its being shown. It's not so much that "Deep Throat" was a great film (it isn't), or a breakthrough (it isn't), or the first of its kind (it wasn't). The whole thing was people reacting against censorship.
People in America don't like being told what they can or cannot watch, or read, or think or feel. People feel strongly about their freedoms, and self-appointed censors -- who thought they were going to protect people from themselves -- only ended up creating a huge furor which propelled the film into an unexpected mainstream acceptance.
Eventually, with subsequent court actions and attempted repressions under the Reagan Administration, adult films became a full-fledged industry, a multi-billion dollar cynical powerhouse -- all thanks to the right-wing religious conservatives who think they know what's best for you.
This documentary tells that story in detail, using interviews with most of the characters involved (sadly, Linda died in 2002), famous commentators, personalities and archival news footage. It is wry and insightful and humorous and informative and eye-opening.
And there are lessons to be learned here, for those same self-appointed arbiters of public taste are still attempting to impose their moral standards on the rest of the country. There is much to learn for them, if they would just stop being stupid for a moment.