Night Scene

  • 75'
  • China
  • 2004
Being a proponent of homosexual rights, Cui Zi'en's predilection for boys often returns in his work. Night Scene is a film about one of the biggest taboos in contemporary China: male street prostitution. It is a unique portrait of a twilight world in parks and clubs, that veers between documentary and fiction. Cui filmed real gigolos and actors who play gay prostitutes, without detailing precisely who is real and who isn't. There is no strict distinction between homosexuals and prostitutes, nor is there any moral verdict. Cui has however made an ambiguous, layered film, just as boundless as the lives of male prostitutes in China. There is also a gripping story line about the boy Yangyang, who happens to find out that his father is gay. He sets out to investigate his father's hidden past and confronts his secret partner Xiaoyong in the process. At the same time, in all this confusion, Yangyang is surprised to find himself also falling in love with a boy, Haobin. But his world falls apart when, after some time, he finds out what his friend really does for a living. Some actors approached by Cui did not dare play the role of gay prostitutes, and some gay prostitutes didn't want to be filmed. It is the director's great achievement that he records a world that is hard to capture on video: 'We are nothing. We have nothing. We are a tragic generation.' (SdH)
Cui Zi'en
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2005
Betacam Digi PAL
Original title
Ye jing
Liu Sujing, Du Jiayi, Xiaowu(Liang Dewu)
Cui Zi'en
Cui Zi'en
Gao Yang