It’s been less than 20 years since China decriminalized homosexuality, and it was only 2001 when the country removed being gay from an official list of mental illnesses in the country. Since then, films with primary gay characters have never been approved by Chinese censors. Until now.
Filmmaker Wang Chao announced on Weibo (which is basically Twitter in China) that his Chinese-French co-production “Seek McCartney” had been given the go to be released in the country. According to Chao, it will be the first time a Chinese film will be released that centers on a gay couple.
“This is a small step for the film department, and a big step for the members of the film industry,” Chao said in his Weibo post.
However, Fan Popo — an LGBT filmmaker and activist in China — isn’t sure how big a step it really is.
“The fact that this film can be released in theaters doesn’t mean gay films in the future will be able to released in China,” he told AFP. “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.”