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Queer China: Mainland China’s First Gay Pride Event

June 7 saw the launch of China’s first gay pride event, ShanghaiPRIDE, which includes club events, film screenings, art shows and panel discussions on the issue of homosexuality. It is the largest festival of LGBT communities in mainland China to date. On June 10, China Daily praised the event as a “showcase of the country’s social progress alongside the three decades of economic boom” and “an event of profound significance”. However, later that day, BBC News reported a government ban on a play and a film screening, which proves that homosexuality is still a complicated and controversial issue in China, although with more tolerance than before.

In film, censors in China are still quick to restrict gay cinema and homosexuality as a theme. But independent film makers have developed ongoing interest in this theme and have delved into the topic with great insights. We at dGenerate will be adding some of these pioneering titles of queer Chinese cinema to our catalog soon.

One of our most respected directors, Cui Zi’en, the first Chinese gay to openly come out publicly on TV, documented the changes and development in LGBT issues in China over the last 80 years in his new documentary Queer China. As the opening film of ShanghaiPRIDE festival, this is the most comprehensive cinematic overview of LGBT history and culture in China. It includes interviews with gay club organizers, doctors, laws, NGO workers, as well as famous scholars, such as Li Yinhe and Lisa Rofel. From the repeal of sodomy law to the submission of a same-sex marriage bill to the National People’s Congress, Cui Zi’en uses his camera to record China’s changing attitudes towards homosexuality. We at dGenerate Films are proud to announce that we’ll be distributing Queer China as well as Cui Zi’en’s film Enter the Clowns soon!

Thanks to Yuqian Yan for compiling links and info for this post.


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