Burn the House Down

Director: Giselle Bailey & Nneka Onuorah
2019 | France | 44m
GENRE: African Diaspora | Dance | Documentary | Immigration/Exile | Queer
SECTION: Documentary
Expected Guests: Directors Giselle Bailey and Nneka Onuorah

You don’t want to look away and miss a second of the hyper-stylized glamor unfolding before your eyes, establishing for all that ballroom is alive and well and Paris is, indeed, on fire. Produced by Vice Media, Burn the House Down documents the lead up to the next great Kiddy Smile (Let a Bitch Know, Be Honest) concert, with diverse, opinionated, and passionate members of Paris’ tight-knit ballroom community reflecting on issues of race, queer identity, immigrant culture, visibility, and free expression in contemporary France.

For those who comprise its community, ballroom dance battle, voguing, waacking, and more are tools of artistry, expressing the intersectionality of identities, originally formed by a “culture of rejects” in the US and fully embraced by the French LGBTQ+ community when imported from NYC by the self-proclaimed ‘pioneer’ Lasseindra Ninja in 2011. The success of ballroom and figures like Smile, Ninja, Algerian lesbian Habibitch, and Afro Trap DJ Lazy Flow proves that conquering of the social labels previously used to limit them is part of the path to fierce embrace of their own fabulous power.

— LEAH LOSCHIAVO

CO-PRESENTED BY
Alliance Française San Francisco Oakland LGBTQ Community Center

  • Language: In French with English subtitles
  • Premiere Status: World