Picturehouse Cambridge

Director: Sara Jordenö. USA/Sweden 2016. 96 mins. 

Twenty-five years after Jenny Livingston’s seminal documentary Paris Is Burning, which shone a light on ’80s Harlem’s ballroom scene, this explosive and uplifting new documentary reveals one of the subculture’s contemporary descendants: the Kiki scene. Part activist movement, part artistic milieu, the Kiki community is a site of radical self-expression for young queer people of colour in New York City, whose ballroom competitions and surrogate queer families provide both creative platforms and a source of succour for individuals facing multiple forms of marginalisation. Shot over four years, the film follows seven members of the community through the difficulties of illness, homelessness and everyday discrimination, as well as the joys of spectacle, camaraderie and personal affirmation. 

The film will be preceded by a short film in conjunction with Random Acts.