Chinese director Zhang Wei has lined up an exciting new feature in the form of “The Rib,” a drama that will focus on a transgender Chinese teen who is forced to grapple with the rigid expectation of both Chinese society and her very religious family as she struggles to blossom into the person she was meant to be. The film will follow a teen who wants to transition from male to female, and the fallout when her very Christian mother finds out about her plans.
Zhang is no stranger to features that depict fraught situations influenced by the societal expectations of his home country, and his previous work includes the award-winning “Factory Boss,” which focuses on a businessman fighting against untenable economics, along with a new feature centered on a mother who fights to get her autistic son the education he deserves.
Variety reports that “the bold drama is likely to become a groundbreaking production for China,” and adds that Zhang has already “obtained permission from Chinese authorities to shoot the film, which will allow him to ‘tackle subjects that might have been taboo only a few years ago.’ He also added he is ‘determined to tell this important story despite any roadblocks I might face.'”
The film is reportedly drawn from real life, though it’s unclear if the film’s drama will be pulling from one main story or a number of experiences by multiple sources.
“The Rib” is currently in pre-production and is expected to start principal photography in early 2017.
Zhang’s latest film, “Destiny,” will debut tomorrow at the Far East Festival in Udine, Italy.
Check out a trailer for the upcoming transgender drama “Transfixed” below: