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The Drum Tower

Fan Popo

Release year: 2019

Run time: 18 min

Film type: Fiction


Drum Tower (Gulou) is located in downtown Beijing. It has witnessed the dramatically changing landscape of this city: as the government seals up “Holes in the Wall” (illegal construction, including doors and windows in the wall that were added for business purposes), a lot of street stores, boutiques, bars and restaurants, vanish. Kacchan is a senior school student who wanders through the hutong (alleys) every day, skipping classes. By chance, he meets a vintage shop owner, Miss Mi, in a public toilet and becomes fascinated by her. Being trans is complicating Miss Mi’s life, while her vintage shop is also facing demolition. Kacchan sees her life though his eyes but can’t do anything to help, until one day…


Director biography

Popo Fan is a queer filmmaker and activist. His films address topics such as same sex marriage (New Beijing, New Marriage), trans issues (Be A Woman), and feminism (The VaChina Monologues). His trilogy Chinese Closet, Mama Rainbow, Papa Rainbow, focusing on LGBT families in China, had had a strong impact on Chinese society. His tireless work on LGBT visibility also includes serving as organizer for the Beijing Queer Film Festival for more than a decade, as well as founding the Queer University Video Training Camp. In 2011, he received the Prism Award from the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. In 2016 he won the best short film at Chouftouhonna, Tunis International Feminist Art Film Festival (The VaChina Monologues). He participated in Berlinale Talents 2017, and was jury of the Teddy Award in 2019.