Smokers Die Slowly Together
A lesbian couple, Alina and Lily
This afternoon, Alina is moving out with her boyfriend.
They wait for him to arrive and they talk about the past
How does it physically matter when we talk about sex and sexuality? Chiku, a transwoman and Wei, a lesbian, got “ legally” married in Taiwan on December, 2012. The documentary shows the subtle moments of their daily marriage life, through which the imagined voyeuristic spectacle is turned into everyday tactics. The main idea is to highlight the gender fluidity that cannot be fixed onto heterosexual framework and to, radically, ask for a reconsideration of the entire system of gender norms.
Bell is a lonely, twenty-something street guy living in Shanghai. One day, wandering around in a run-down and stinky under path, he sees a pair of bright red heels passing by. The color stimulates something deep in his heart. Out of curiosity, he starts to follow its owner across the city of Shanghai and ends up in an old club where he discovers a forbidden community that he has never experienced with, hence begins to realize his hidden desires.
In China, most families have difficulties facing their lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) children. They have to contend with common social beliefs that homosexuality is shameful, abnormal, a perverted condition caused by deviant family relationships. Many parents see their kids as their property, and fathers often rule their family kingdom with an iron hand to ensure that no harm comes to the family reputation. Chinese fathers are commonly seen as conservative, despotic figures, epitomes of the age-old patriarchy governing all levels of Chinese society.
4 years ago, the documentary "Mama Rainbow" showed a pioneer generation of Chinese mothers stepping up to speak out on their love for their LGBT children. The documentary conquered the heart of many viewers, yet it also gave rise to an urgent question: where are the rainbow fathers in China?
The documentary "Papa Rainbow" sets out on a quest to answer this question, and crosses the country to find six fathers able and willing to open up about their relationship with their LGBT children. They lead very different lives, have very different educational and cultural backgrounds, yet they all experienced a cascade of intense emotions when their children came out to them.
"Papa Rainbow" follows the Chinese fathers on their journey towards acceptance of their LGBT children. Struggling with societal pressure and with their own emotions, the fathers embark on an emotional quest to ensure a better living environment for their children.
The documentary zooms in on a cathartic drama workshop, where the fathers create and perform a theater play about the daily challenges faced by their LGBT children. The experience leads them to reflect on their paternal roles, on their past attitudes towards LGBT, and on traditional Chinese ideas favouring hyper-masculinity and heterosexuality.
Switching between theater play and reality, "Papa Rainbow" creates intimate portraits of the six fathers, and shows how they become pioneer leaders in an ever-growing movement for LGBT equality in China.