Shakedown

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    Shakedown

    Directed by

    USA

    2018

    82 min

    • English

    Documentary

    'Shakedown' was a series of parties founded by and for African American women in Los Angeles that featured go-go dancing and strip shows for the city’s lesbian underground scene. Inspired by transwoman Mahogany who, as the mother of the scene, presided over queer strip shows and balls for non-heterosexual audiences in the 1980s, butch Ronnie Ron created, produced and presented the new shows. In them, the largely female clientele from the ‘hood’ slipped dollar notes into lap dancers’ panties while celebrating lesbian sexuality to pulsating hip-hop beats. Showing the protagonists backstage and in interviews, this intimate chronicle reveals that ‘Shakedown’ was more than just a strip club; as one of the few spaces for lesbian subculture, the club brought together and galvanised a community of freaks and queers of colour, and for that it suffered police reprisals. The film’s director is herself a member of this community; using exclusive archive material, posters and flyers, her film takes a personal look at female desire that is rarely presented on the big screen.

    Festivals

    Credits

    Screenplay
    Leilah Weinraub
    Cinematography
    Leilah Weinraub
    Editing
    Matthew Hollis
    Music
    Tim Dewit
    Production
    MEMORY
    Sales
    THE FILM COLLABORATIVE
    Leilah Weinraub

    Leilah Weinraub

    USA

    Born in Los Angeles, USA in 1979, she currently lives in New York. She is an artist and director and also CEO of the Hood By Air fashion label. Her work focuses on the themes of race, class and gender with a particular interest in queer communities and people of colour. A short version of SHAKEDOWN was presented at the 2017 Whitney Biennial. SHAKEDOWN had its premiere at Berlinale 2018.