Shot between 2001 and 2010, Exotic World and the Burlesque Revival is the story of a goat farm in the middle of the Mojave Desert that became ground zero of the largest burlesque revival since the 1940s. The film focuses on former striptease dancers Jennie Lee (a 1950s labor union organizer for strippers) and Dixie Evans (“The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque”) who transform a goat shed into the world’s first and only museum and retirement home devoted to burlesque—Exotic World (a.k.a. The Burlesque Hall of Fame). With little more than a social security check, Jennie and Dixie refuse to let the art of burlesque fade to memory.
In response, young burlesque revivalists begin making pilgrimages to the museum. The film captures the moment in time when the revivalists and elderly legends meet in the blazing hot desert and create a vibrant artistic culture that fuels the resurgence of neo-burlesque. The encounter is rich with ideas about erotic femininity; memory; feminism; the politics of history; artistic and commercial sexual performances; working-class history; sub-cultural formation; censorship; aging; inter-generational communities; discrimination; and joy.