25.2.12

Paris is Burning

After being mentioned in passing and referenced in so many conversations now, I finally got round to watching Paris is Burning (1990). Directed by Jennie Livingston, it documents the vibrant subculture of New York's drag balls conceived in the community halls of Harlem during the mid-to-late 1980's. The documentary follows a handful of flamboyant characters who turn to the underground scene of makeshift catwalks and rival "houses" (in other words, the families to which each person belongs) on a quest for self discovery, strength and identity.