32 user 21 critic

Paris Is Burning (1990)

A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.



Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

15 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary surveying the various Hollywood screen depictions of homosexuals and the attitudes behind them throughout the history of North American film.

Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Stars: Lily Tomlin, Tony Curtis, Susie Bright
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Documentary/Concert film covering the annual Drag festival in New York City. Highlights include a performance by drag diva, Ru Paul, and the infamous Lypsinca.

Director: Barry Shils
Stars: RuPaul, John Epperson, Debbie Harry
No Way Out (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Joaquin (Polo Ravales), an unassuming fisherman, is forced to confront his homosexuality when his sex-starved wife Cynthia (Althea Vega) returns from her overseas job eager to get pregnant.... See full summary »

Director: Joel Lamangan
Stars: Polo Ravales, Joseph Bitangcol, Emilio Garcia
Pageant (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A portrait of five men competing in the Miss Gay America pageant.

Directors: Ron Davis, Stewart Halpern-Fingerhut
Stars: Carl Glorioso, Victor Bowling, Robert Martin
Princesa I (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fernando, a.k.a. Fernanda, a 19-year-old Brazilian transvestite, travels to Milan and becomes a prostitute to finance sex-change surgery. Fernanda dreams of becoming a "real" woman, but in ... See full summary »

Director: Henrique Goldman
Stars: Ingrid de Souza, Cesare Bocci, Lulu Pecorari
RuPaul's Drag Race (TV Series 2009)
Game-Show | Reality-TV
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

RuPaul searches for America's next drag superstar.

Stars: RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Santino Rice
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked! is the access-all-areas pass to the drama that you didn't see on the runway--the backstage bitchiness, the catfights, the struggles, the tears and the secrets.... See full summary »

Stars: RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Santino Rice
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A documentary of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco's first elected gay councilor.

Director: Rob Epstein
Stars: Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Anne Kronenberg
HerzHaft (2007)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Felix is secretly in love with Ralph. This doesn't seem to be the biggest problem. But Felix is 15 and Ralph his 34 years old soccer coach. They meet every day in an ambush. One day Felix ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Busker
Stars: Tommaso Cacciapuoti, Ferdinand Hanisch, Johanna Niedermüller
Grey Gardens (1975)
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton.

Directors: Ellen Hovde, Albert Maysles, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Edith Bouvier Beale, Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, Brooks Hyers
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Beneath a railroad bridge a young rural gay man begins to his explore his gay feelings with the aid of an understanding friend.

Director: Michael Burke
Stars: Mickey Smith, Jason Hayes, Todd Batstone
Stonewall (1995)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A group of homosexual people try to live with dignity and self-respect while events build to the opening battle in the major gay rights movement.

Director: Nigel Finch
Stars: Guillermo Díaz, Frederick Weller, Brendan Corbalis


Credited cast:
André Christian
Dorian Corey
Paris Duprée
David The Father Xtravaganza
Eileen Ford ...
Junior Labeija
(as Pepper Labeija)
Sandy Ninja
Willi Ninja
Avis Pendavis
Freddie Pendavis
Kim Pendavis
Sol Pendavis
Stevie Saint Laurent
Octavia St. Laurent ...
(as Octavia Saint Laurent)


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. Written by Robbie Smith <robsmith@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Having a ball...wish you were here



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

August 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Children Are  »

Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)


$3,779,620 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in October 1997. See more »


Pepper LaBeija: This is white America. Any other nationality that is not of the white set, knows this and accepts this till the day they die. That is everybody's dream and ambition as a minority - to live and look as well as a white person. It is pictured as being in America. Every media you have; from TV to magazines, to movies, to films... I mean, the biggest thing that minority watches is what? "Dynasty" and "The Colbys". Umm, "All My Children" - the soap operas. Everybody has a million-dollar bracket. When...
See more »


Referenced in RuPaul's Drag Race: Oh No She Betta Don't! (2014) See more »


Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Written by Annie Lennox (as A. Lennox) and David A. Stewart (as D. Stewart)
Performed by Eurythmics
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

What happened to them?
4 September 2000 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

I just saw this movie again for the first time since it came out. It's so much sadder now. You feel you're watching these people as they once were, over 10 years ago, when they still had hopes and dreams that by now have probably dwindled to nothing. I read somewhere that most of those profiled died within 4 years, principally from AIDS. I'd love to know what happened to them all. I think Willie Ninja, the most resourceful, clever & self-respecting of the group, is still somewhat successful as a dancer/entrepreneur.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The two boys, homeworldpilot
OMG i can't believe it! drownedw0rld
A sad film Babo2
Song question davisaurus
Willi Ninja R.I.P. HeroineCheek
DVD DScully1245
Discuss Paris Is Burning (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page