Paris Is Burning

audience Reviews

89% Audience Score89%
  • 3.5 of 5 stars
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    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.
  • 4 of 5 stars
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    "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.
  • 5 of 5 stars
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    in the words of pepper labeija, you is a marvel!!
  • 3.5 of 5 stars
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    A very interesting glimpse into a different world and decade.
  • 1.5 of 5 stars
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    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.
  • 5 of 5 stars
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    stunning. amazing insight into the drag ball scene.
  • 4.5 of 5 stars
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    Paris Is Burning is an important look into the drag and transgender scene of the eighties that offers a lot of revelatory interviews along with introducing the viewers to the vocabulary and this overall culture very well. The movie is well directed and edited, but its severely melancholic tone really sticks with you, and it culminates with that heartbreaking ending.
  • 0.5 of 5 stars
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    awful. critics who rated this highly should put their social views aside when rating things for others to see. we just wont listen or trust you anymore.
  • 4.5 of 5 stars
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    An ABSOLUTE classic! A must see. J’adore.
  • 5 of 5 stars
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    An absolutely fantastic documentary. The people are so genuine, fun, often wise beyond their years, and clearly resilient. Brilliant but also important and incredibly poignant.