Documentary Review: This Is Paris (2020)

Release Date: April 15th, 2020 (Tribeca Film Festival)
Directed by: Alexandra Dean
Written by: Alexandra Dean
Music by: Lara Meyerratken
Cast: Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Kyle Richards, Kathy Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Tessa Hilton

The Intellectual Property Corporation, YouTube Originals, 105 Minutes, 115 Minutes (Extended Cut)

Review:

I kind of just watched this on a whim after checking out the trailer and while I didn’t have high expectations, it did exceed them and not only gave me an authentic and genuine understanding of who the real Paris Hilton is but it also goes to some dark places, examining some childhood trauma, which ties into what drove her to reach the levels she has.

For those who haven’t figured it out yet, the public persona of Paris is one that she manufactured. She’s not the hot airhead that the general public came to believe she is. In fact, she’s pretty intelligent and has created an empire around her brand: herself.

Sure, her family ties helped get her foot in the door with top notch fashion photographers and her family’s money allowed her to be a part of the socialite scene. However, it’s what she turned those opportunities into that are so impressive. And frankly, without the template she provided, there wouldn’t be others who followed in her footsteps and had their own success. Kim Kardashian, Paris’ former assistant and friend, immediately comes to mind.

This documentary allows you to see the world from Paris’ point-of-view while also displaying how the pressure of what she created has had an adverse effect on her mental health.

However, as the film goes deeper and deeper into her personal story, we learn about the one major horror story that traumatized her, greatly.

The second half of the documentary deals with Paris essentially being abducted by the officials of a school in Utah, which takes troubled kids in an effort to rehabilitate them. In reality, this school treats the kids like shit and actually makes them much worse than when they got there.

Paris and others from that school tell their stories and try to get the word out about the reality of places like it, as their school isn’t the only one that’s treating kids like adult prisoners in a maximum security facility.

I’ll be honest, I never had much of an opinion of Paris. But after seeing this, I’ve got tremendous respect for how she’s overcome the dark parts of her life and how she took an acorn and turned it into a lush, rich forest.

Overall, this was an engaging documentary that told a hell of a story in a fairly short amount of time. The film flew by and I didn’t realize that nearly two hours had passed when the credits started to roll.

It’s well edited, greatly presented and hopefully, enough people see it and places like the school where Paris was imprisoned are further exposed and scrutinized into oblivion.

Rating: 8.5/10
Pairs well with: other recent pop culture biographical documentaries.