The Wedding Banquet (Xi Yan): A Taiwanese-American gay man living happily with his partner succumbs to the pressure of his overbearing traditional parents and arranges an elaborate sham hetero wedding.
Country: Taiwan/USA, 1993
Original Language: Mandarin Chinese and English
Available for purchase on Amazon.
Zavi thinks: Many people don’t realize that Brokeback Mountain was not the first major gay film that Ang Lee directed. This film will always hold a special place in my memory because the first time I watched it was for a Chinese language class (and I think the staff who selected it did so because they knew there were a large number of queer students in the program). That random fact aside, many scenes in this movie are hilarious, especially the parts where the main character is ‘being straight’ while on various female dates.
Panda thinks: I am a big fan of Ang Lee and really enjoyed seeing one of his earlier films. It’s neat to see how much …
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Photo of Chinese baby girls, courtesy of Getty Images and the UK Telegraph.
I’m sure many of us remember our youth as a time primarily free of gender, where we ran around bare chested and barefoot in the glorious summer time, regardless of whether our baby bonnet was blue or pink. In fact, much of our early lives are blessedly free of the true pressures inherent in a rigidly gendered society, other than the occasional barbie doll falling into hands that really wanted a slingshot or vice versa.
However, there is some disturbing news on both sides of the planet for young girls this week. NPR reports that a new study conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has found some disturbing puberty related trends are taking place among young girls in the United States. The study found that “10-percent of 7-year-old white girls were developing breasts”, and “for young black girls… 25-percent of 7-year-olds” were exhibiting early puberty and maturation.
Meanwhile, in the latest bout of milk powder related …
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Saving Face: In this romantic comedy, a young Chinese-American lesbian struggles between following her heart and fulfilling the expectations of her very traditional Chinese family.
Country: USA, 2004
Original Language: English and Mandarin Chinese
Zavi thinks: This is possibly my favorite lesbian movie ever. A lot of queer romantic films fall flat in exploring the motives and desires behind the lead character’s love, but in “Saving Face,” the clashes between both generations and different cultures are explored in considerable depth. The “squee factor” for me is quite high in this movie. From the perspective of a student, I love that the characters speak clear, understandable Mandarin (meaning I can claim that watching this movie is “language practice”). Also, from the perspective of a person from a very “traditional” family, I really enjoy that this film explores the tension between parents truly wanting the best for their children and children truly not wanting the same thing as the parents’ expectation. This movie would be great for either …
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