‘Queens of the Qing Dynasty’ Review: Secret Soul Mates
The surprisingly quirky Canadian drama Queen of the Qing Dynasty understands queerness the same way Bell Hook does. Directed by Ashley Mackenzie, the dreamy, or bout of dissociation, film follows her teenage psychotic patient, Star (Sarah Walker), in Nova Scotia, a replacement from Shanghai who volunteers at a hospital. A love story without sex or romance about an international student. , An (Ziyin Zheng). The pair make an odd couple, but their bond is still intuitive and electric.
The story begins in the aftermath of Starr’s suicide attempt. The tone of the film is terribly clinical, yet nonsensical and silly. A neurodivergent foster child with a sarcastic sense of humor, Starr clearly doesn’t realize the seriousness of her actions: her eyes glint, she seems alien to her body, don’t follow her rules. Like, for example, when she was kicked out of her apartment to throw a party. Ultimately, she is institutionalized.
Walker charms Starr with a captivating rawness and annoys her aloofness. Cinematographer Scott Moore shoots in close-ups where the edges are blurred, and eerie sound design by Andreas Mendritzki brings the frosty Cape Breton location to life on Mars, bringing it closer to the star’s dazed point of view. increase.
Ann is a poised international student with blade-long claws dreaming of a transition, connected to the stars through a sort of buddy system, an ancient Chinese whore who doesn’t have to work, a scheming and charming Intimidate her with a woman’s story. Two people communicate by text. An decorates her face with a filter and sends a video of her singing. Stars, stream of consciousness messages and voicemail messages that are not normally acknowledged. She doesn’t seem to care and Anne hasn’t been chased away by them either.
Away from the community, the two embody a different kind of relationship, and Mackenzie doesn’t rely on the usual uplifting messages or tense empowerment arcs to humanize Anne and Starr. In one beautiful, magical scene, two people stop by a virtual reality game studio, put on headsets, connect to fantasy, and play like flying wizards with a breeze. Their friendship remains a mystery, but the film makes their connection feel palpable and true, almost like magic.
Queen of the Qing Dynasty
Unrated. English, Mandarin, Russian, with subtitles. Running time: 2 hours 2 minutes. at the theater.