Skip to content

Chinese Queer Cinema: A Very Brief History

The first video in this article focuses on the development of queer films in mainland China during the reform and opening-up period; the second video focuses on transgender representation in independent cinema.

Lan Yu film still (Courtesy of Queer East)

In the first video, Dr Hongwei Bao traces a brief history of Chinese queer cinema in the post-Mao era, introducing key titles and filmmakers. He argues for the key role of Chinese independent cinema in constructing queer identities, communities and desires.

The second video focuses specifically on the representation of trans characters in Chinese independent cinema. It addresses the politics and ethics of representing trans people and lives.

Further reading:

Hongwei Bao. 2022. ‘Ways of Seeing Transgender in Independent Chinese Cinema.’ Feminist Media Studies. DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2022.2077798 

Hongwei Bao. 2021. Queer Media in China. New York: Routledge.

Hongwei Bao. 2020. Queer China: Lesbian and Gay Literature and Visual Culture under Postsocialism. New York: Routledge.

Hongwei Bao. 2019. ‘The Queer Generation: Queer Community Documentary in Postsocialist China.’ Transnational Screens 10 (2): 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/25785273.2019.1662197

Hongwei Bao. 2018. ‘From Celluloid Comrades to Digital Video Activism: Queer Filmmaking in Contemporary China.’ The JOMEC Journal: Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies 12: 82-100.