Paris is Burning

Criterion   (1990) / Region 1
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Paris is Burning

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Paris is Burning

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 of eloquence, and the draw of community.

Paris is Burning was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in conjunction with Sundance Institute and Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. Preservation was funded by Sundance Institute, Outfest, and the Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation.


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