East Palace West Palace (Dong gong xi gong) (Behind the Forbidden City)
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East Palace West Palace (Dong gong xi gong) (Behind the Forbidden City)
The film's title is Chinese slang for the bathrooms located on the edge of Tiannamen Square, favorite haunts of Beijing gays. Billed as the first mainland Chinese drama to deal openly with the subject of homosexuality, the film angered censors and this resulted in mainland authorities confiscating director Zhang Yuan's passport shortly after his return from Hong Kong on April 10, 1997 therefore preventing him from attending that year's Cannes Film Festival along with the film. Primarily a psychological drama, it centers on a verbal cat-and-mouse game played between a gay writer and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Though too verbose and static, it's the first film to deal explicitly with gay life in China, and as such adds a panel to the growing body of movies about sexual politics in rigid societies."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"[Has] a sophistication and haunting complexity that would be the pride of any open Western auteur."
‑ Kevin Lally, Film Journal International
"Sua inegável relevância política e social (especialmente à época de seu lançamento) infelizmente não se traduz em qualidade narrativa."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"The Chinese authorities were not pleased with this work, supposedly the first openly gay film to come out of Red China."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Feels like a stage play with two characters in a single room, but the way the story delicately unfolds keeps us gripped."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall