|A groundbreaking gay-themed film. It is a sad, lyrical drama which boldly shows the unconventional love story between a gay Chinese man in Beijing, who is caught cruising, and the policeman who arrests him. A-Lan is a young, married gay writer who is a regular in the public toilets and city parks that are the nocturnal camping areas in China s capital. He attracts the attention of Officer Shi, a policeman whom he boldly taunts and sexually teases until he is arrested. |
She takes A-Lan to a desolate police station where a most unusual all-night interrogation begins. For, as the policeman plays sadomasochistic power games with his victim, A-Lan turns the encounter into a fanciful Jean Genetesque recollection of his life, from his childhood crushes on other boys, to sexual abuse as a youth and even to gay-bashing at the hands of his lover and his friends.
The policeman hungrily listens, alternately intrigued, titillated and disgusted. A sombre analogy of life that is beautifully filmed, capturing the desolation and harsh reality of being gay in repressive China.
The title refers, in a joking manner, to two public men s toilets, one to the east and one to the west of the Forbidden Palace in the heart of Beijing.