Paris Is Burning

audience Reviews

, 89% Audience Score
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    In a short runtime, Paris Is Burning gets across a lot without ever feeling wasteful and becomes a very interesting documentary on the 80's NYC ballroom scene and touches on moving themes of sexuality, race, class, and life itself.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Mandatory viewing for everyone. This demonstrates why the gay rights movement happened, and why no gay or trans person is a victim. The amount of harassment gay and trans people go through makes them the strongest people on the planet, especially at the time this documentary was shot. For this generation to victimize fearless fighters, as that is the underlying current of what most of these socio-political movements have transformed into, is counterproductive to what the women and men and them fought so hard to be: FREE. Not victims of an oppressive new computerized social culture which forces them to properly act and speak like their chosen identity. QUEER happened because people wanted to free their authentic selves, not specify their pronoun or sexual preference. This age is dominated by what the computer and phone did to Queer culture; trying to categorize and pigeonhole identity. No Queer person would try to control the perception Other had of them back in the day! Bold fashion and being themselves in the face of a conservative society made them stars in their own communities. Listen, we want progress, but not at the sake of our collective freedom. Trying to control narratives and perceptions of Other is not gonna happen. Give it up. Enjoy your own category and being different and Other taking any notice of you at all. And for Goddesses' sake, enjoy this film!
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    The controversies are part of what makes this one of the best, most wonderful documentaries ever made. I will fight you on this one.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    I wasn't sure what to expect when seeing it. There's been so much build up after watching Drag Race and Pose. I hate to say Viewing it now it was a touch disappointing. Don't get me wrong I loved the exploration of the Ballroom culture and gay people of color. But after seeig so much it feels a little shorted. It's definitely an intriguing look at the time period and how these people lived their lives and what happened to them. It's a documentary and is effective as a "slice of life". At the time when it was released and even now it shows a side to our story that's criminally underseen and under represented and for that it was and continues to be such a huge success. 6/10
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    A 1991 documentary that chronicles the New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality. As the inspiration for the renowned drama series Pose FX, it is a very good explanation that documents what happens with the balls, the "houses," the "mothers", "voguing" and the "realness" competition.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    "Whatever you want to be, you be." That's the foundation upon which New York's "Drag Balls" were built, providing a space for individuals (predominately black and latino gay and transgender individuals) to vogue. Paris Is Burning was filmed between 1985 and 1989, following numerous influential individuals in the scene such as Pepper LaBeija, Paris Duprée, and more. The balls covered show the talent and intricate details of both performances and outfits, showcasing the absolute talent throughout. Those familiar with the art of drag will see numerous references to phrases and other aspects of the community, showing just how influential this time was. The documentary also hones in on the stigma of the LGBTQIA community at the time with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in full swing and New York City at the depths of its troubled times. Through these competitions, individuals found a creative outlet in which to channel themselves while also discovering chosen family where it otherwise didn't exist. This is a timeless piece of history that encapsulates a moment in time where members of the community persevered, concocting a culture that would go on to influence art for decades to come.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    in the words of pepper labeija, you is a marvel!!
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    A very interesting glimpse into a different world and decade.
  • Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
    Yes, these were the originators who inspired Pose, and it may not be just to judge something from a retrospective lens, but what does this documentary really paint is a picture of the materialism of the 80s, a very white-centric world that inspired a bunch of shallow queens that want to be something/someone else and invented their own vocabulary in the ghetto. I just don't find much to this other than a snapshot of the horrible 80's.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    stunning. amazing insight into the drag ball scene.