Paris Is Burning
Directed by Jennie Livingston • 1990 • United States
Starring Dorian Corey, Pepper LaBeija, Angie Xtravaganza
Where does voguing come from, and what, exactly, is throwing shade? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African American and Latinx Harlem drag-ball scene. Made over seven years, PARIS IS BURNING offers an intimate portrait of rival fashion “houses,” from fierce contests for trophies to house mothers offering sustenance in a world rampant with homophobia, transphobia, racism, AIDS, and poverty. Featuring legendary voguers, drag queens, and trans women—including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, and Venus Xtravaganza—PARIS IS BURNING brings it, celebrating the joy of movement, the force of eloquence, and the draw of community.
Up Next in Documentaries
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Meet Big and Little Edie Beale: mother and daughter, high-society dropouts, and reclusive cousins of Jackie Onassis. The two manage to thrive together amid the decay and disorder of their East Hampton...
Directed by Martin Bell • 1984 • United States
Seattle, 1983. Taking their camera to the streets of what was supposedly America’s most livable city, filmmaker Martin Bell, photographer Mary Ellen Mark, and journalist Cheryl McCall set out to tell the stories of those society had left behind: hom...
Ornette: Made in America
Directed by Shirley Clarke • 1985 • United States
Starring Ornette Coleman
This freewheeling documentary captures Ornette Coleman’s evolution over three decades. Documentary footage, dramatic scenes, and some of the first music-video-style segments ever made chronicle his boyhood in segregated T...