2006, Fri, May 12

Welcome to Destination Shanghai

D: Andrew Cheng

Andrew Cheng | Welcome to Destination Shanghai | Copyright: Promo

Andrew Cheng | Welcome to Destination Shanghai | Copyright: Promo

China 2003, 86 min, English subtitles

A convincing anatomy of China’s new emotional and sexual economy. Shanghai is completely devoid of any moral support; its inhabitants are scarred for life: On the one hand there is this high-and-mighty young man who regards himself as an irresistible gigolo, only to discover after a short time what it means to work as a whore. On the other hand, there is the not-so-young, shady diva, who works as a host for a local cable TV station, but earns more in her second job repairing hymens. Then there is her gay husband, who only married her so that she could return to the city after the Cultural Revolution was over. Some of the scenes are presented in documentary style, others as stylised theatrical tableaux; the two levels are linked by digitally processed images of Shanghai.

Rice Queens

Even today, homosexuality is still taboo in China. Films dedicated to this subject are illegal and may not be shown in public. Two films devoted to a reality that still exists nevertheless.