A dreamy portrait of an underground strip club by and for Afro-American lesbians in Los Angeles.
With Shakedown – her debut! – Leilah Weinraub documents the personal and professional relationships between dancers and strippers at a sultry black lesbian strip club. We follow Ronnie-Ron, the manager and MC, Mahogany, the scene’s legendary Mother, Egypt, star of the dance floor, and Jazmine, the inimitable Shakedown Queen.
Shakedown – meticulously compiled from more than 400 hours of visual material – is no experimental art film. Nor is it an anthropological documentary about gay-black-femme performances in L.A. Weinraub, who once worked in the club, set out to record a unique moment in the now, and turned it into a fascinating film.
Leilah Weinraub is an American artist and director, as well as CEO (until 2017) of Hood by Air, a luxury ready-to-wear fashion collective. She is radical in her support of what she calls ‘modern people’: consumers who undermine traditional paradigms of race, class and gender. As a filmmaker, she records the stories of trendsetters within the queer and POC communities (centred on people of colour): their creative output is often appropriated and plundered by the masses, without the communities themselves gaining any visibility, or according to their own conditions.
Introduction to the film by Elisabeth Lebovici.
US, 2018, DCP, colour, sound, 82'