Cui Zi’en

Queer China, Comrade China, 志同志 (Zhi Tongzhi),
Cui Zi'en. China, 2008. Documentary, 60 minutes, Chinese with English subtitles.

Cui Zi'en is a director, screenwriter, novelist and an outspoken queer activist based in Beijing. He is the first Chinese public figure to come out 1990s. He is also China's most prolific homosexual filmmaker. He graduated from the Chinese Academy of Social Science with an MA in literature and now is an associate professor at the Film Research Institute of the Beijing Film Academy. Cui Zi'en is one of the avant-garde filmmakers in Chinese underground film. His novels have been published in China and Hong Kong. Uncle's Past won the 2001 Radio Literature Award in Germany. He is also the author of books on criticism and theory, as well as a columnist for various magazines.

Queer China, 'Comrade' China (Zhi Tongzhi) documents the changes and developments in LGBT culture that have taken place in China over the last 30 years. It is the most comprehensive historical account of the queer movement in modern China. The film explores historical milestones and examines how shifting attitudes in law, media and education have transformed queer culture from being a taboo subject to an accepted social identity. The film culminates with a 2003 event: the famous sociologist Dr. Li Yinhe submitting a formal proposal to the National People's Congress to adopt a law concerning the right to same-sex marriages. It was a major landmark event in the struggle for acceptance of the gay identity in China.

The documentary also includes rarely seen footage of the first ever appearance of gays and lesbians on State television, including Cui Zi'en himself. The film features exclusive interviews with over 30 leading queer activists, scholars and filmmakers, including Shi Tao, Li Yinhe and Zhang Yuan. It was the opening film in China's first LGBT festival, the 2009 Shanghai PRIDE. The film has been shown at international festivals in Vancouver and Pusan, and won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 24th Turin LGBT festival.

De som intervjuas i dokumentären är författare, fimregissörer, designer, sociologer, universitetslärare, frilansförfattare, TV-värdar/värdinnor, radioproducenter, NGO-koordinatorer för HBT-frågor, homosexuella community-aktivister, studenter, kulturforskare, läkare, folk från internationella fonder, filmfestivalorganisatörer, konstnärer, advokater, jurister och artister.

The interviewees in the documentary include writers, film directors, designers, sociologists, university teachers, freelance writers, TV hosts/ hostesses, radio producers, LGBT NGO co-ordinators, gay and lesbian community activists, students, cultural scholars, doctors, people from international funds, film festival organisers, painters, lawyers, legal experts and artists.

Si Han, Curator

Cui Zi'en 崔子恩

1958: born in Harbin, Heilongjiang
1987: M.A., Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Currently works and lives in Beijing, as a research fellow at Beijing Film Academy, independent director, screenwriter and producer