Henry Hampton Film Series: ‘Paris Is Burning’

Paris is Burning flyerJoin us for a free screening presented by the Washington University Libraries, Cinema St. Louis, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis LGBT History Project as part of the Henry Hampton Film Series. The screening will be followed by a discussion featuring Steve Brawley of the St. Louis LGBT History Project and performers Leon Braxton (aka Dieta Pepsi) and Maxi Glamour.

Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, this classic documentary chronicles New York’s drag scene and “house” culture, which provided a sense of community and support for the flamboyant and often socially shunned performers.

The Henry Hampton Film Series premiered in 2014 and seeks to share documentary films made by minority filmmakers or that depict the stories of often underrepresented groups with a focus on the African American experience.

Henry Hampton (1940-98) was a St. Louis native and 1961 graduate of Washington University. In 1968, he established his Boston-based company Blackside, Inc., that quickly became the largest African-American-owned film production company of its time. Hampton’s works chronicle the 20th century’s great political and social movements, focusing on the lives of the poor and disenfranchised.

The Henry Hampton Collection is housed at Washington University Film & Media Archive. The 35,000-plus items in the Henry Hampton Collection include film and videotape (570 hours of original footage and 730 hours of stock footage), photographs, scripts, storyboards, producers’ notes, interviews, music, narration, posters, study guides, books and other materials.

About the author

Reference and Outreach Supervisor in Special Collections.