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 scene; Egypt, their star performer; and Jazmyne, the “Queen” of Shakedown.
Leilah Weinraub (b. 1979 Los Angeles) is an artist and director living in New York. A short version of her film SHAKEDOWN was recently included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. She is the CEO of Hood By Air, the New York-based fashion collective known for luxury ready-to-wear. Weinraub helped to radicalize fashion by championing what she calls “modern people”: the rising class of consumers who subvert traditional markers of race, class, and gender and revel in freedom, lawlessness, and spectacle. As a filmmaker, Weinraub has helped document such unacknowledged tastemakers, particularly those belonging to queer, autonomous communities of color whose creative output is often plundered by mass culture but whose stories are rarely told on their own terms.