Farewell My Concubine
Co-presented by Out Film CT, Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine (1993, NR) is a cinematic masterpiece that deftly explores themes of gender, sexuality, and identity within the backdrop of a changing China. The film follows the lives of two opera performers, Douzi and Shitou, as they endure brutal training and form an enduring bond. Leslie Cheung’s portrayal of Douzi, who plays female roles due to his appearance, adds depth to the narrative. Gong Li’s presence as Juxian introduces a poignant love triangle, reflecting the complexities of their time. With its historical and cultural depth, the movie offers a resistance to presentist interpretations of gender and sexuality. It provides a glimpse into a queer way of being that challenges contemporary sensibilities, urging us to understand its human complexity within a specific historical context.