Paris Is Burning

critic Reviews

, 98% Certified Fresh Tomatometer Score
  • Paris Is Burning dives into '80s transgender subculture, with the understated camera allowing this world to flourish and the people to speak (and dance) for themselves.
  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Geoff BrownTimes (UK)
    Half sad, half exuberant.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Gene SiskelChicago Tribune
    The earnestness of the competition is what holds this film together.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Vincent CanbyNew York Times
    There is a lot of common sense and natural wit behind the role-playing. Yet there is also a terrible sadness in the testimony.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Kenneth TuranLos Angeles Times
    [The film intercuts] ball scenes with interviews with the participants in less hectic, more reflective moments. It is those personal, humanizing moments, much more than the hectic, eye-catching hubbub of performance, that truly linger in the mind.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Louise GraySight and Sound
    If the wit, glamour and mind-boggling outfits of Paris Is Burning are disarming, not far beneath the film's surface is an immensely moving quality.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Peter TraversRolling Stone
    If all you know about Voguing comes from Madonna, this spirited and heartbreaking documentary from first-time filmmaker Jennie Livingston will be an eyeopener.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    David HarrisSpectrum Culture
    Paris is Burning is still an important film 30 years after its release - a snapshot of a specific time and place that humanizes its subjects and allows those of us in a place of privilege to understand them better.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    David LambleBay Area Reporter
    A scintillating example of how art can serve life without compromising its objective of adding meaning to our journey.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Warren SonbertBay Area Reporter
    Not since Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls have I been so taken and fascinated by such a gallery of real-life, stunningly etched characters.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Dennis KingTulsa World
    Although the film has its dark moments, Paris Is Burning is mostly upbeat, and the overall message of the movie is heartening and humane.
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