Paris Is Burning re-release trailer highlights drag history

Touch all of this cinema, darling!

Iconic LGBTQIA+ documentary Paris Is Burning is returning to theaters this summer, and EW has an exclusive sneak peek above at the first trailer for the upcoming restored version of the 1991 classic.

Decades before RuPaul, Drag Race, and Pose catapulted drag culture into the mainstream spotlight, director Jennie Livingston’s critically lauded documentary highlighted the stories of several Latinx and African American New Yorkers throughout 1980s New York.

Now, nearly 28 years after the film’s Aug. 9, 1991 release, the filmmaker has supervised a digital restoration of the original project, refocusing the vibrant personalities of stars Dorian Corey, Pepper LaBeija, Venus Xtravaganza, Octavia St. Laurent, Willi Ninja, and Angie Xtravaganza for contemporary audiences.

The new trailer teases a colorful dive back into the performers’ world, including chronicles of their lives across seven years of founding fashion houses populated by vogue icons, drag queens, and trans women competing on self-made stages while grappling with transphobia, homophobia, racism, and poverty during the AIDS crisis.

Paris Is Burning’s restoration cut (remastered by the UCLA Television Archive in conjunction with the Sundance Institute and Outfest UCLA) returns to New York City’s Film Forum on June 14 for a special two-week run in theaters, with a nationwide rollout to follow. Watch EW’s exclusive trailer for the film above.

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