Co-presented by Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM)
The début documentary feature by Hood by Air C.E.O. Leilah Weinraub, Shakedown chronicles a series of parties in the early aughts founded by and for Los Angeles’ black-lesbian underground, at a strip club from which the film takes its name. Largely inspired by a number of queer strip shows and balls that took place in LA during the 1980s, Shakedown was created, produced, and presented by butch promoter Ronnie Ron. Noted for its high-energy go-go dancing and striptease performances set to pulsating hip-hop, Shakedown existed as a vital bastion for the community, until its closure in 2004 by a police effort to clean up the city. Documented in rich handheld video by Weinraub, the archival footage that accounts for much of the film’s running time offers hypnotic and privileged insights into a recent yet bygone era, while also providing visibility to a seldom represented subculture.