6.3/10
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13 user 11 critic

East Palace, West Palace (1996)

Dong gong xi gong (original title)
In China, homosexuality isn't illegal, but homosexuals are routinely persecuted by police and arrested for "hooliganism". The film focuses on a young gay writer A-Lan who, being attracted ... See full summary »

Director:

Yuan Zhang
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Si Han Si Han ... A Lan
Jun Hu ... Xiao Shi
Jing Ye Jing Ye
Wei Zhao
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Storyline

In China, homosexuality isn't illegal, but homosexuals are routinely persecuted by police and arrested for "hooliganism". The film focuses on a young gay writer A-Lan who, being attracted to a young policeman, manages to have himself interrogated for a whole night. His life-story which he tells during the interrogation reflects the general repression of the Chinese society. The policeman's attitude shifts from the initial revulsion to fascination and, finally, to attraction. Written by Piotr Zembrowski <zembrows@astro.utoronto.ca> (after David Overbey)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

policeman | gay | police | park | chinese | See All (22) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

24 July 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

East Palace, West Palace See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,024, 13 September 1998

Gross USA:

$46,470
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1997 the Chinese government put director 'Zhang, Yuan' under house arrest and confiscated his passport. His friends smuggled this movie out of the country so it could be shown at the 1997 Cannes film festival. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting power struggle in Modern day China
22 July 2001 | by Havan_IronOakSee all my reviews

East Palace West Palace focuses on the nightlong interrogation of A Lan, a Chinese gay man `arrested' by Hu Jun, a policeman, in a park. In this case A Lan was picked up earlier in the day and let go by the officer. Unlike the others who have commented on this film, I think that the main plot point is that Hu Jun is attracted to A Lan from the very beginning and is trying to understand his own feelings as he asks his prisoner questions. As evidenced by the kiss that A Lan gives the officer when he is first let go, I think that the A Lan knows as well.

This movie moves slowly and is only really interesting if you buy into this psychological premise. I don't see the self-loathing that others seem to see in this film and was fascinated as the power struggle between the two men was waged. One had the full weight and power of the law on his side, the other had desire and sexual attraction.


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