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(Rama Rau, Canada). 90 min­utes. Rat­ing: NNNN There were some brazen women light­ing up bur­lesque stages all over the U. S. more than 50 years ago, and Rama Rau tells their sto­ries as they get ready to en­ter the Leg­ends of Bur­lesque Hall of Fame in Ve­gas.

Th­ese unique in­di­vid­u­als – all proud, cre­ative and fiercely in­de­pen­dent – worked at a time when all-out nu­dity was not le­gal and strip­ping was pow­ered by the pasty. That makes their work very dif­fer­ent from that of the lap and pole dancers who came af­ter.

True, they per­formed for en­ti­tled men, but they make clear that bur­lesque gave them in­de­pen­dence and free­dom at a time when those were at a pre­mium for women.

Very en­ter­tain­ing. SGC Apr 28, 9:45 pm, Bloor Hot Docs; Apr 29, 1:30 pm, TIFF 1

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