Shakedown @ UWM Union Cinema, Milwaukee [20 September]


19:45 - 21:15

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UWM Union Cinema
2200 East Kenwood Boulevard Student Union Room 363, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211
directed by Leilah Weinraub

“ intoxicating, dreamlike portrait of Los Angeles’s African-American lesbian strip club scene, in which a network of female performers attached to a weekly party called Shakedown take center stage.” — Whitney Museum of American Art

«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 galvanized a community of freaks and queers of color, 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.


Admission $5.
Free to UWM Students and UWM Union Cinema Members

Or: special DOUBLE FEATURE price:
Come early at 6pm and see CHAVELA, Catherine Gund’s documentary about the unconventional life of beloved performer Chavela Vargas, whose passionate renditions of Mexican popular music and triumphant return to the stage late in life brought her international fame.


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