Paris Is Burning (1990)

When I added Paris Is Burning to my watchlist I didn't even know it was a documentary. When I found out, I thought I'd never watch it because I didn't like documentaries. Actually, I'd barely watched one before. Then last year I went through a documentary phase and decided to watch it. And it blew my mind.

Just in case you are not into documentaries or you don't know this one, Paris Is Burning is about the gay New York of the 1980s and the ball culture which consisted of balls where contestants walk or perform in different ways. It's a story about people being marginalized for being black or Latino, male and gay. 

I didn't know absolutely anything about this culture --I didn't even know a thing about voguing which apparently people think is a Madonna thing but it's not--
and I found it very interesting and fascinating. I loved learning more about these people, their lives, their world. I loved seeing the tremendous dedication these people put into performing, how hard they worked.

The reason why Paris Is Burning worked so well for me is that director Jennie Livingston allowed the performers bring their humanity, their heart into this. We truly learn about the people in this, about their dreams, their hopes, what they think of homosexuality, of men and women. We see their disappointments as well, which kind of made me feel heartbroken, and all I wanted was to see these people make their dreams come true. And often that meant just being about to perform at the ball. 

Miramax Films
It's not always easy to watch. Reality never is. Especially when these people are still dealing with the same problems nowadays, but Paris Is Burning is a very beautiful, powerful, moving even documentary, and everyone should watch it, no matter if you are for or against gay rights. This documentary is about gay people, but not only gay as in homosexual but gay as in happy, and, I don't know, it filled my heart with love and joy and sadness too. Just watch it if you get the chance.


  1. I've heard about this film as it's considered to be widely influential in the world of LGBT cinema. I think I have it in my own watchlist as I hope to see it soon.

    1. I hope you get to see this soon! It really deserves it.