10 Benchmark LGBT Films That Got People Talking

Written by Mark Rausch

Paris is Burning

This documentary about the LGBT underground is as detailed and involving as any major feature film. Peering into New York City’s ball sub-culture of the 1980s, filmmaker Jennie Livingston highlights the diversity of the Big Apple’s drag scene. That includes black and Latino gays who are runaways, abandoned by their parents, or dropouts from above-ground society who face the camera and share their fears, dramas, and dreams. You’ll meet Angie Xtravaganza, Pepper LaBeija, and Willi Ninja, and you’ll get a front seat to a revolutionary era of racism, homophobia and the first AIDS casualties. Drag means donning whatever you like, and acting however you feel, especially if it’s bending the gender.