Search The Archive

Search the film archive

"Bursting with the pulse of the emphatic, high-energy dance scene that it documents, Kiki is also alive with the attitudes of the bold, outspoken people of color it profiles." – Film Comment

Over 25 years ago, seminal documentary Paris is Burning introduced the world to Harlem's ballroom scene. Kiki revisits that cultural milieu in a time when same-sex marriage has been legalised in the US but there is still far to go for LGBTQI rights.

A kind of performance art/dance hybrid, ballroom sees LGBTQI youth-of-colour voguing and runway walking in competitive balls. Today's ballroom performers are part of New York's Kiki scene, which has evolved from its 80s origins to incorporate a greater emphasis on social activism and self-organisation. But the balls remain fundamental, offering their marginalised, often brutalised, participants a vital outlet for self-expression and artistry.

Winner of the Teddy Award for Best Documentary at this year's Berlinale, Kiki explores this world through the eyes of several community members, set to a fabulous soundtrack by Qween Beats. Swedish visual artist and director Sara Jordenö collaborated closely over several years with Twiggy Pucci Garçon, founder of one of the biggest international Kiki houses, and his influence on the film – and the access it provides – is both vital and evident.

"The exuberant dancing and posing is perfectly electrifying. On the dance floor all thoughts of troubles disappear ... the optimism and sheer joy [it] exudes is highly infectious." – Queer Guru