Wednesday, February 3, 2010

East Palace, West Palace (1996)

Release Date: November 1996

Language: Mandarin

Director: Zhang Yuan

Main Cast: Si Han, Hu Jun

Summary: A park in the midst of Beijing, surrounded by old palaces, is frequently searched by the local police as it is one of the secret meeting places for the local gay scene. The young writer A Lan on several occasions runs into policeman Xiao Shi who ends up arresting the young man one evening and takes him to the park's police station. After one intense night of interrogation which turns into A Lan telling the story of his past, Xiao Shi finds himself wondering whether his arrest of A Lan had other motives than he initially thought. This movie was forbidden by chinese authorities for its open depiction of homosexuality in Mainland China when it first came out and director Yuan Zhang was arrested for a short time and his passport taken away from him temporarily. Yet he managed to get a copy of the movie out of the country and "East Palace West Palace" has been aired at prestigeous film festivals all over the world.

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