China’s censors are notorious for banning LGBT-themed content, which is why the new gay film Seek McCartney has made headlines: It was actually approved by the government and is now preparing to hit theaters.
A trailer has debuted for the movie, which portrays a secret relationship between a Chinese man (Geng Han) and his French friend (Jérémie Elkaïm) as they travel through Tibet together.
The film’s release is a milestone, but insiders say not to read too much into it: “The fact that this film can be released in theaters doesn’t mean gay films will be able to released in China in the future,” queer filmmaker-activist Fan Popo told The China Post.
“China’s system for evaluating films is still very unstable, because the rules are very unclear. It depends heavily on the individual censor’s whims.”
Seek McCartney’s director, Wang Chao, seems to agree. In a post on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, he wrote “This is a small step for the film department, and a big step for the members of the film industry.”
He has reason to be cautious: The popular web series Addicted, which centers on four gay Chinese teenagers, was abruptly pulled off the Web last month.