Paris Is Burning

Must-See Cinema! The queen of all drag docs!

Chronicling the world of fierce performances, and fierce competition, at Harlem drag balls during the 1980s, Jennie Livingston's Paris Is Burning is a groundbreaking exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Poster for the pioneering drag-queen doc Paris Is BurningThe documentary follows the lives of Dorian Corey, Willi Ninja, Sol, Freddie and Kim Pedavis, Octavia St. Laurent, Angie and Venus Xtravaganza, and Pepper LaBeija as they perform and tell their respective stories. Candid interviews with each of the performers are interspersed with images of extravagant costumes, lavishly decorated sets, elaborate voguing, and impassioned offstage rivalries.

Beyond the spectacle and pageantry of the drag balls, Paris Is Burning provides an intimate look into the very real lives of a community struggling to survive  – queer and trans people of colour dealing with loss and pain, but always thinking of their hopes and dreams for the future.

– Toronto International Film Festival


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