8.1/10
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35 user 20 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.

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16 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brooke Xtravaganza ... (as Carmen and Brooke)
André Christian
Dorian Corey
Paris Duprée
Junior Labeija
Willi Ninja
Sandy Ninja
Kim Pendavis
Freddie Pendavis
Sol Pendavis
Avis Pendavis
Octavia St. Laurent ... (as Octavia Saint Laurent)
Stevie Saint Laurent
Anji Xtravaganza ... (as Angie Xtravaganza)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Having a ball...wish you were here

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Children Are  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$310,127, 11 August 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,779,620
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Considered to be the first example of the now-common expression "throwing shade." See more »

Quotes

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...
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Connections

Featured in 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die: Episode 4 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's Zoomin' Who
Written by Aretha Franklin (uncredited), Preston Glass (uncredited) and Narada Michael Walden (uncredited)
Performed by Aretha Franklin
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User Reviews

Really well made. Interesting. Sad, too.
17 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

I will confess that I had no idea what I was walking into when I saw it. At the time, I was between jobs and seeing every movie I could. It was either that-or look for a job!

Remember seeing the title and thinking it was about WW2, Hitler, etc. Of course, once the movie started, I was surprised.

It was a very cool movie. I don't think it matters if you're straight, gay, or somewhere in between. It opened my eyes to a whole new sub-culture I never knew existed. What I saw was a group of men very passionate about something in their lives. Fascinating to watch them transform their appearance.

Sad to see how their families didn't accept them or when there was a death of one of the principals. I remember they showed one of the actors truly depressed b/c his family (maybe his father) tossed all of the clothes he had collected. Outside of the monetary value, he really had pride in all that he had amassed over the years.

I left thinking I wouldn't want to try it, but I thought it would be very fun to attend one of these balls.


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