Lan Yu (2001)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  22 November 2001 (Hong Kong)
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Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Lan Yu
Chen Handong
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bin Li
Huatong Li ...
Liu Zheng
Shuang Li ...
Fang Lu ...
Jin Su ...
Lin Jingping
Shaohua Zhang ...
Niu Ma
Yongning Zhang ...
Minfen Zhao ...
Handong's mother


Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company and plays as hard as he works. Few know that Handong's tastes run more to boys than girls. Lan Yu is a country boy, newly arrived in Beijing to study architecture. More than most students, he is short of money and willing to try anything to earn some. He has run into Liu Zheng, who pragmatically suggests that he could prostitute himself for one night to a gay pool-hall and bar owner. But Handong happens to be in the pool hall that evening, and he nixes the deal. He takes Lan Yu home himself and gives the young man what turns out to be a life-changing sexual initiation. Handong and Lan Yu meet often, and the boy is soon very secure in his love for the man. But Handong insists that he wants a play-mate, not a lifelong companion, and warns Lan Yu that they will eventually break up. Meanwhile, he showers... Written by Strand Releasing <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity and some language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:





Release Date:

22 November 2001 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Histoire d'hommes à Pékin  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,838 (USA) (12 July 2002)


$116,192 (USA) (13 June 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema)

Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Liu Ye and Hun Jun worked on their rapport only four times before production, playing basketball (of which Liu at 6-foot-1 was a star player at school) and dining. They spent time with their respective girlfriend and wife present, to clarify their romance will only be fictional. See more »


When Chen Handong takes Lan Yu home for the first time, an American television show is playing in the background, and the announcer says "not only is Los Angeles the largest city in California, but it is also the state capitol." This is wrong, Sacramento is the state capitol of California. See more »

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User Reviews

It's as hot as a gay mainstream movie can be, and it's from China!
28 January 2004 | by (Greenwich Village, NY, USA) – See all my reviews

I expected something tepid and tormented, like "East Palace West Palace" and instead found a wonderful drama about the China of the 80s and 90s.

A successful businessman sees, at a fancy party, a young man brought to the party by another attendee. He and a co-worker decide to pounce: they take him (Lan Yu) out and treat him royally. The young man winds up staying with the businessman, who gives him money, but is ambivalent about whether he wants to see Lan Yu again. He feels that he can have relationships and remain unattached.

Lan Yu shows up periodically over the course of years, and the businessman gives him larger and larger gifts, including a fancy house in the suburbs. But the businessman meets a woman who translates for him in a deal he's making with Russians. He decides to marry the woman. Lan Yu will not put up with it and refuses to see the businessman.

The businessman's shady deals get him into trouble, and he loses almost everything. Then Lan Yu comes back into the picture and . . . (I'll leave it there).

Besides being a wonderful melodrama, this is also a hot gay film. Full frontal and dorsal nudity, some sex. The men are hairless and sexy, but real. Lots of kissing.

And all the time you're wondering: did they actually film this in China? Do they allow this in China? How did they get away with this....It must have been filmed in Hong Kong. Well, according to the Sundance website, this was filmed in China, and based on a short story that appeared only on the Internet.

It's by far my favorite Chinese movie, and if you're interested in gay life in the new China, this is the one to see.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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