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1,949 Ratings

Paris Is Burning

Directed by Jennie Livingston
United States, 1990
Documentary, LGBTQ+, History


This is a documentary of ‘drag nights’ among New York’s underclass. Queens are interviewed and observed preparing for and competing in many ‘balls’. The people, the clothes, and the whole environment are outlandish.

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Paris Is Burning Directed by Jennie Livingston

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

1991 | Winner: Teddy: Best Documentary (Forum)

Sundance Film Festival

1991 | Winner: Grand Jury Prize (Documentary Competition)

Critics reviews

At times intimate and raw, Paris is Burning tries to capture the powerful essence of walking the floor to thunderous cheers and sometimes boos.
June 25, 2019
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Paris Is Burning has persisted all these years in part due to the charisma of lines like these—sharp, complex, a life’s worth of wisdom packed into a few punchy sentences—and in part due to the substance of the wisdom itself.
June 18, 2019
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Livingston creates an after-life for the queer icons of the New York ball scene. She builds a memorial to lives to whom (to quote Marsha P. Johnson) nobody promised a tomorrow; she created a legacy of their todays for the people of tomorrow to honor.
June 14, 2019
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