• film

45 Years of Women Make Movies

Inside the Chinese Closet

Dir. Sophia Luvarà, Netherlands, 2016, DCP, 70 min. Chinese w/English subtitles

In a nondescript lounge somewhere in Shanghai, men and women giggle, eyeing prospective partners, visibly nervous about making the first move. This isn’t your average matchmaking event—it’s a “fake-marriage fair,” where gay men and women meet to make matrimonial deals with members of the opposite sex in order to satisfy social and familial expectations of heterosexual unions. Inside the Chinese Closet is the intricate tale of Andy and Cherry looking for love and happiness in vibrant Shanghai. They are both homosexual but their families demand a (heterosexual) marriage and a baby from them, because being single and childless would mean an unacceptable loss of face for their families, particularly in the remote countryside where they live. Will Andy and Cherry deny their happiness and sexual orientation to satisfy their parents’ wishes? The stories of Andy and Cherry mirror the legal and cultural progress in China against the backdrop of a nation still coming to terms with new moral values.

Preceded by: 
Lives: Visible
Dir. Michelle Citron, US, 2017, video, 35 min.

Lesbians in a box… two thousand private snapshots hidden away for over fifty years reveal the rich history of Chicago’s working class butch/fem life in the pre-Stonewall era.  Spanning four decades, from the 1930s to the early 1970s, the snapshots provide a rare look at a vanished and vibrant lesbian culture: images of lovers and friends as they played, posed, serially switched partners, worked, partied, drank, and aged.  Now we all take selfies; these women used a Brownie camera to tell the story of their community. Lives:Visible explores the ephemeral nature of culture and the power of the images we make. From the maker of the feminist classic Daughter Rite.