Part of Queer Qlassics.
Director Jennie Livingston puts a microscopic lens to what is now considered a pioneer subculture to contemporary drag. Iconically niche and revolutionary, PARIS IS BURNING takes root in New York City during the mid 1980s and captures the intricate ins and outs of ballroom culture amidst the African American and Latinx gay and transgender community. Phasing between raw footage of the ballroom competitions and intimate interviews with contestants and respected counterparts, the film is a seven-year examination of sexuality, race, gender, class, friendship and family.
Digitally remastered by the UCLA Film and Television Archive in conjunction with Sundance Institute and Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. Preservation funded by Sundance Institute, Outfest and the Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation. Director Jennie Livingston supervised the restoration.
PARIS IS BURNING was included in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2016, an annual selection showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation.
“...PARIS IS BURNING remains essential viewing.” —Hannah Weiss, Dazed “Combines drama, sociology, culture and history into a powerful, passionate and entertaining package… Livingston fleshes out not just the cultural facts of the ball scene and its attitudes but, more significantly, the struggle for survival at its roots.” —Karl Soehnlein, Out Week “The film may have been entertaining to white, straight audiences, but for queer people of color it was nothing short of revelatory.” —Les Fabian Brathwaite, Out
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