Last night, Rama Rau’s rousing documentary League of Exotique Dancers opened the 2016 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival with a bang. One of my favourite films of the festival thus far, it’s an exhilarating look at the lives of aging icons of the Burlesque arts.

“Feminism wasn’t about burning your bra and not shaving your legs. Feminism was shaving your legs and working in a bar as a sex object, but knowing that you were. […] And not selling your pussy and your soul for a wedding ring.”

  • Judith Stein

“Burlesque is a profession shrouded in public scrutiny. Callously written off as little more than strippers, selling their bodies, the women who’ve performed this art of seduction have often been shamed for their less-than-conventional career choice. Arguments are made that these women mark a regression for Feminism. That they behave unladylike, crass, twisted, and vile. In actual fact, these women embody one of the fundamental rules of Feminism; it’s all about choice. Alongside equality with men, a woman’s right to control her life, and her body, is solely her own.

Even if that means showing some skin.”

You can read the rest of my review over at Row Three.

League of Exotique Dancers screens today at 1:30pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

League of Exotique Dancers