Paris Is Burning (1990)


The Screening Room @VTIFF Sat, Aug 3 3:00 PM


U.S. | 78 minutes

Presented by drag artist Rheed Rhumm as part of the ongoing “Queer Coming-Out Stories,” Paris Is Burning chronicles NYC's ball culture, and addresses some pressing questions, such as: 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 and 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.