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“a beautiful piece of work—lively, intelligent, exploratory …. Everything about ‘Paris is Burning’ signifies so blatantly and so promiscuously that our formulations – our neatly paired theses and antitheses – multiply faster than we can keep track of them. What’s wonderful about the picture is that Livingston is smart enough not to reduce her subjects to the sum of their possible meanings…”

-Terrence Rafferty

 The New Yorker

“Zeroing in on an obscure and outré corner of a subculture, Livingston’s film ends up shedding an extraordinary light on American culture as a whole.”

-David Ansen


The Criterion Collection/Janus Films is the film's new North American distributor. To arrange a screening in the US or Canada, please email:
For rights elsewhere:

“A politically astute, historically important document of our precarious times.”

-Michelle Parkerson

 The Black Film Review

“Houses of silk and gabardine are built. Houses of dream and fantasy. Houses that bear the names of their legendary founders…Houses rise and fall. Legends come and go. To pose is to reach for power while simultaneously holding real powerlessness at bay.”

-Essex Hemphill

 The Guardian

Paris is Burning is streaming on the Criterion Channel and available on DVD and BluRay from the Criterion Collection.

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