Short film My Way, about a mainland Chinese transgender woman having surgery in Hong Kong, was released a week ago (12 April) and already has 2 million views on Youku (China’s YouTube).
The film by critically acclaimed director Ann Hui is the latest example of professional directors by-passing the censorship of China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) to reach huge audiences online.
My Way, starring Francis Ng, tells the emotional story of protagonist Chow’s marriage break-up, tentative new friendships with other transgender women and checking into hospital for gender realignment surgery in Hong Kong.
Hui had said that her last feature film A Simple Life (2012) would be her last, after a career that started in the Hong Kong New Wave movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s. But following the film’s critically success – best director at the Golden Horse awards (the Chinese-language Oscars) and best actress at the Venice International Film Festival – Hui has said she will continue with her filmmaking career.
A Simple Life got a wide cinema release in mainland China but a film like My Way would not be released in a country that bans LGBT characters from films and TV. In March, Gay Star News interviewed Cheng Liang about his hugely popular internet-released short featuring a gay love story, My Spiritual Medicine.
Watch Ann Hui’s My Way (20 minutes) film here: