The Shvitz (1993)
46min · Documentary · 22 October 1993
A look at the unlikely community forged in the 200 degree heat of the last traditional steam baths in the U.S. From gamblers to "new age" masseuses, from poets to rabbis, the characters form a sometimes conflicting, yet often compelling voice. The film uses the baths to give a perspective on the evolution of city life, while bringing up issues of ethnicity, nostalgia, sexuality, spirituality and ritual. "When we sit in this intense heat", says one patron, "we're all the same - millionaire and pauper".
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