In the documentary “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel” director Brigitte Berman gathers the people who know the man best as well as the legend himself to explore his life from a different perspective.
The major event which brought Hugh Hefner to the spotlight was his launch of “Playboy” magazine in 1953. This event changed American sexual attitudes and lifestyles more than any other in the last century. With this publication he not only championed the sexual revolution but acknowledged his hedonistic lifestyle without regret. Beyond advocating sexual freedom, Hefner has been at the forefront of the battle for human and civil rights throughout his life.
But the First Amendment did not protect him from those who opposed his viewpoint and lifestyle from battling with him. Through unrestricted access to the private archives of the Playboy empire, the award-winning director Berman captures the full scope of the challenges from the religious right, the government and feminists with wit and humor.
The documentary provides insight on Hefner’s life with engaging interviews with an extraordinary group of people who share their experiences with him; George Lucas, Tony Bennett, Joan Baez, Jim Brown, James Caan and Jesse Jackson. In addition to the interviews there are remarkable film scenes that capture rare moments of the story of his life.
Together the result is an extraordinary and intelligent snapshot of a man who has lived a controversial life and made the world a more interesting place because of it. Hugh Hefner has been called a study in contrasts and is noted as an outspoken libertine and well as a staunch supporter of social justice.
Hugh Hefner provides insight on many of the controversies that surrounded him through in-depth interviews with director Berman. Hefner’s public image as a sensual playboy who has been the lover of countless beautiful women is only one part of the story. What many people do not know about is his private life; his involvement with many of the most important social, civil and human rights issues of our time and how his involvement has made a difference.
The documentary provides an exciting look at a different part of American society. The role of the Church and State is shaping the way people behave and how the exercise of one person’s Constitutional rights have changed history. An informative look at how Hugh Hefner contributions have shaped the American lifestyle of today.