East Palace, West Palace: Chinese Cinema Gets Queer Cert. 15

Wednesday 29 November / 6.30pm / The Box / £4/£3, booking required


Join FACT for the first in a film-based lecture series exploring sexuality and sensuality within Chinese cinema, in partnership with the Department of Chinese Studies (History), University of Liverpool.


East Palace, West Palace (1996), from controversial director Zhang Yuan, was the first Chinese feature film to deal overtly with gay life in China. Deemed an ‘illegal’ independent film by the government, Yuan was put under house arrest ahead of its release, causing his friends to smuggle the film out of the country to be screened at the 1997 Cannes film festival.


After a random night raid in a local park, a young gay writer, A-Lan, is held for an intensive one-on-one interrogation. Unwanted memories offer glimpses of A-Lan’s tumultuous childhood, first sexual experiences, forced farm labour, and his incessant search for love. Through the night, the interrogating officer confronts feelings that alternate between revulsion and fascination. The political ramifications are clear, implying not only a broader indictment of the repressive regime in China, but also addressing the issue of intolerance of human differences everywhere. 

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Wednesday 29 Nov 2017
  • 18:30

    Wed, 29 Nov 18:30