Censorship regarding queer issues in China has become increasingly stricter. Cinema has never been a friendly space for queer subjects, yet now, new regulations are even banning LGBTI+ content online. Since the authorities arrested five feminist activists in 2015, the work of NGOs in China has become increasingly difficult. But do we give up? Of course not. Festivals such as Beijing Queer Film Festival and Shanghai Pride are proving the existence of a strong and enduring community.
Like the rainbow, we are more than colourful. We challenge and blur the borders of gender, nation and form. Through this programme, we aren’t necessarily finding answers but rather searching: aiming to build a platform for communication, reflection and discussion.
In the films, you will meet trans women in rural China, closet Taiwanese lesbians in the US, Canadian Chinese gay men in Germany, and expat lesbians in Beijing. These people are not afraid of the darkness. They are full of courage.
We are more than a rainbow at midnight. We illuminate the day.
我们在这里, WE ARE HERE!
Popo Fan, born 1985, is a Berlin-based Chinese diaspora filmmaker, curator and writer. Hisfilms include queer activism documentaries and scripted, sex-positive shorts. For more than a decade, he has organized the Beijing Queer Film Festival and founded the Queer University Video Training Camp in China. In 2019 he curated film series “More Than A Midnight Rainbow” about Chinese-made and Chinese-speaking queer films at bi’bak.
一次网络视频管理 BLOCK AND CENSOR
Chen Awei, China 2018, Documentary 65 min.
The film is based on the lawsuit of the queer filmmaker Popo Fan against the SARFT (State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, Television of the PRC) after his film Mama Rainbow was deleted on Chinese video websites. Interviews with Popo’s lawyer, journalists, NGOs, activists and commentators reveal China’s systemic use of censorship through endless laws and regulations.
波动 THE HUTONG VIBE
Popo Fan, China 2017, Experimental fiction 18 min.
The Hutong Vibe is the first feminist queer pornography film made in Mainland China. Two women meet in a Hutong B&B in Beijing. One of them presents herself as unfriendly and bashful while the other is bold and flirty. What will happen when they become more and more involved?
Sun Mo is the Producer of Block and Censor. Born in China, now based in Berlin. Wandering in the art field, dabbling in photography and film production; struggling with his queer friends personally and publically, legally or illegally; surviving in a world that is so imbalanced, from the East to the West, to fuck or being fucked. So, just trying to be alive, as a human.
双 BI CHINA
Wei Tingting, China 2017, Documentary 48 min.
Bisexuals. Who are they? What lives do they lead? Living in China and being bisexual herself, Wei Tingting found those questions still very often being asked. As a result, she goes on a mission with her camera to uncover the hearts and minds of the bisexual community. She ends up encountering varied individuals with utterly different and contrasting views and experiences on sex, love, gender and identity.
我们在这里 WE ARE HERE
Jing Zhao, Shi Tou, China 2016, Documentary 60 min.
At the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, the first ever lesbian tent at an UN NGO Forum was created. In the tent, ideas were shared, connections were made, identities were assured… with a growing emergence of energy for change.
Wei Tingting is a Chinese LGBTI+ and feminist activist, writer and documentary filmmaker. She co-founded the National Bisexual Network in China, and was co-listed in ‘10 of the Most Inspiring Feminists of 2015’ by MS Magazine (US). She worked as a producer for the film We Are Here.
What is China? Let’s construct it, let’s deconstruct and then reconstruct.
老媽駕到 WHEN MOM VISITS
Chiung-Wen Chang, USA 2015, Fiction 19 min. OV with English subtitles
When Mom Visits is a lesbian family comedy-drama. Vic Lee has settled in America, with a job and girlfriend she loves. Her mother suddenly arrives from Taiwan unannounced, but Vic has not yet come out to her…
Bin Chen, Germany 2017, Documentary 57 min. OV with English subtitles
HOMØE tells stories about queer refugees from all over the world who come to Germany seeking their second home. Through Bin Chen’s lens, we see their pain and joy.
MY GERMAN BOYFRIEND
Wayne Yung, Germany 2004, Fiction 18 min. OV with English subtitles
A gay Chinese-Canadian looking for love is barraged with ethnic stereotypes when his dream of an ideal German boyfriend is crushed by reality.
Wayne Yung, Germany 2006, Fiction 1 min. OV with English subtitles
If you’re in the market for a new lover, why not get your very own Asian Boyfriend™!
Wayne Yung is a filmmaker, writer, curator. Born in a Chinese immigrant family in Canada, today he lives in Berlin. Besides the two videos presented, his works also include: Peter Fucking Wayne Fucking Peter (1994), Chopstick Bloody Chopstick (2001), 1000 Cumshots (2003), The Comfort Window (2010), and Schwanzfilm (2011).
Bin Chen, born in Shanghai, is a TV Journalist, video editor and filmmaker based in Berlin. His works focuses on culture, migration, queer and human rights. HOMØE is the graduate piece of his master degree on TV journalism.
A new beginning for queerness. We are never static. We are transforming like fairies, shimmering between present, past and future.
尋找鱷魚 SEEING THROUGH THE EYES OF CROCODILES
Lien Fan Shen, Germany 2015, Animation 13 min.
Referencing video documentation of interviews with T (lesbian butches) in Taiwan, Seeing through the Eyes of Crocodiles is an animated short that explores “T”, their identity, pleasure and their views of female masculinity.
鼓楼西 THE DRUM TOWER
Popo Fan, China 2018, Experimental Fiction 18 min.
An introverted senior school student and a transgender vintage shop-owner: two lonely souls swimming in the ever-changing pool of the city. Can they break through wall of communication? Where are they heading to?
B先生．B小姐！ GOODBYE MR B, HELLO MISS B!
Beatrice Wong, Hong Kong 2016, Documentary 15 min.
This short documentary is a self-produced visual-audio record of how the director changed from Mister Beavis to Miss Beatrice. Portraying a slice of transgender life, the film is about someone struggling to come to terms with the fact that things won’t be simple as ABC or 123.
LERNE DEUTSCH MIT PETRA VON KANT
Ming Wong, Germany 2007, Experimental 10 min.
A video art work inspired by Fassbinder’s classic piece The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.
沉李 SUNKEN PLUM
Roberto F. Canuto / Xiaoxi Xu, China/Spain 2017, Fiction 20 min.
A transgender woman receives news of her mother’s death. As the only "son", she feels obligated to return to her birthplace, even though she’ll have to hide her true self from family and friends.
Ming Wong explores the gray space of current debates, such as the construction of gender, language and identity. Drawing inspiration from feature films and pop culture, Wong recontextualizes well-known quotes and tropes. He blends eastern and western mythological ideals, often reflecting his own experiences of having grown up in Singapore, studying in London and now living in Berlin.