Curated by Popo Fan and Sarnt Utamachote in collaboration with Yi Wang and Queer East Film Festival UK
Focusing on the aspects of sound, embodiment and musicality in queer Asian cinema, this series showcases historical and contemporary films in transnational dialogue with each other. The program borrows its title from “Comrades: Almost A Love Story” (1998, Peter Chan), a classic Chinese film which became extremely popular in Asia and especially in countries with large Chinese diasporic communities. Its soundtrack (Teresa Teng) and the intertwined motifs of labor migration, destiny, and desire was a format that influenced many filmmakers that followed. “Comrades I Love You” thematizes how the practices of voicing/singing or embodying certain roles (“drag”) has the power to create a form of cinematic comradeship and to subvert conventional family structures and desires. Each of the films in this series have been part of screenings hosted by Queer East, a cross-disciplinary festival based in London that showcases boundary-pushing LGBTQ+ cinema, live arts, and moving image work from East and Southeast Asia and its diasporic communities, exploring notions of what it means to be queer and Asian today.
Yi Wang is the director and programmer of Queer East. Outside this role, Yi works as a creative producer for performing arts and cross-cultural events.
Sarnt Utamachote is a nonbinary filmmaker and curator based in Berlin. They are a co-founder of un.thai.tled, an artist collective from the German-Thai diaspora, through which they have organized un.thai.tled Film Festival at Sinema Transtopia since 2020.
Popo Fan is a Berlin-based Chinese diaspora filmmaker, curator and writer. His films include queer activism documentaries and scripted, sex-positive shorts. For more than a decade, he has been an organizer of Beijing Queer Film Festival.
Funded by Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken with support from the BMZ and LEZ with support from the Land of Berlin