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East Palace, West Palace

Rating
5.9
44
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Original title
Dong gong xi gong (East Palace, West Palace)
Year
Running time
94 min.
Country
China China
Director
Screenwriter
Zhang Yuan, Wang Xiaobo
Music
Xiang Min
Cinematography
Zhang Jian
Cast
Producer
Quelqu'un d'un Autre Productions, Amazon Entertainment Ltd., Ocean Films
Genre
Drama | Gay & Lesbian
Synopsis / Plot
Dong Gong Xi Gong takes its title for a meeting place for homosexuals on Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The film centres on a young gay writer who is held by the police for intensive interrogation. Fragments of his life surface in flashbacks, and the film portrays his first sexual experiences, forced labour on a farm, and his search for a meaningful relationship.

As the movie develops, a bond develops between the captive and captor, who oscillates between revulsion and fascination. Zhang dramatises the sitaution by having Ah-Lan, the writer, desire the policeman, who seems to become more and more amibivalent about his sexuality.

Zhang, who is straight, says that he chose the topic because 'I feel that homosexuality is little understood, especially in China.' Homosexuality in China is not actually illegal, but gays are harrased and beaten all the same.

Dong Gong Xi Gong , bugeted at around US$260,000, shows Zhang move away from his documentary style to something more dramatic.
Awards
1996: Mar del Plata Film Festival: Best Director, Screenplay and Special Mention
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