Shakedown

USA / 2019 / 82 minutes / NR

Shakedown is the story of Los Angeles’ black lesbian strip club scene and its genesis. Owned and operated by women, underground and illegal in nature, the club Shakedown is the darker, faster, younger iteration of this dance culture. The film is a window into this world. Shakedown emerged from a post-RIOTS, post-OJ, post-integration but still very racially divided Los Angeles. In this divided city Shakedown is an independent, all black and all female cash economy. Shakedown chronicles the explicit performances and personal relationships of the party’s dancers and organizers including Ronnie-Ron, Shakedown Productions’ creator and emcee; Mahogany, the legendary “mother” of the community; Egypt, their star performer; and Jazmine, the “Queen” of Shakedown.


WATCH

 

→ Shakedown is streaming at Pornhub free for the month of March. It comes to The Criterion Channel in May and other platforms this summer.

  • Director

    Leilah Weinraub

  • Shakedown — being neither a commercial spectacle nor a didactic case study but a torrent of curiosity and fantasy — makes space for itself.”

    — Cassie da Costa, The New Yorker
  • "Leilah Weinraub’s masterful documentary is a scintillating ode to Los Angeles Black lesbian culture and the city’s infamous 'Shakedown sessions.' An immersive, celebratory depiction of queer Black lives.”

    — Jasmine Weber, Hyperallergic
  • “Watching Shakedown is like entering a new world… Feels more like a fever dream than a series of real life experiences… To see Black women – and queer Black women at that – expressing their sexual desires and needs feels major.”

    — Grace Barber-Plentie, Another Gaze
  • “One of my favorites of the [True/False] festival… An attendee eventually hired as a videographer for the club, Weinraub is a member of the community she documents, which is essential to the beauty of the film.”

    — Taylor Montague, Reverse Shot
  • “Weinraub surveys the flow of money, sex and power in this dream-like foray into a black lesbian strip club in LA in the early 00s.”

    — Simran Hans, The Guardian
  • “Indeed, what’s striking about Shakedown onscreen is its unabashed physicality. It’s a fundamentally sensual film. The footage is explicit and lascivious, and money participates in, and drives, the show—bills flood the floor as the angels perform.”

    — Holly Connolly, Vice

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