Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Zhang Jian, Yang Qing, Yu Bo, Wei Jiangang, Yu Xiaoyu
Directors: Cui Zi'en, Cui Zien
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
One of the first Chinese openly gay underground films to make it to the big screen. THE OLD TESTAMENT offers a rare glimpse at gay life behind communist borders. Biblical references weave together three engaging vignette... more »
Below the Lowest Budget
John Stone | NYC, NY United States | 02/27/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Shot somewhere in Mainland China, the two remarkable things about this triptych of gay-themed short films (all three total 76 minutes) is that they were made in a country generally hostile to homosexuals, and that the entire production made it onto DVD released anywhere outside the filmmaker's inner circle of friends and family. With production values comparable to the worst home movies ever shot (sound and picture drop out sporadically, handheld consumer digital camera darts to and fro with incompetent technique, sets comprising of an apartment, nonactor actors, clip light brashness, stock digital sound EFX and so on), this is gonzo cinema at its cheapest and most inane. The title (Old Testament) and chapters such as "Proverbs" and "Song of Solomon" promise a parallel with biblical themes, perhaps an ironic comment on the historically fraught tension between Church and homosexuality.
There is much in the way of juvenile shock value (toothless bondage, groping about in underwear, sudsy shower scene with men, etc) and an attempt to comment on the intolerance of average Chinese citizens (a husband and wife openly hostile to a relative's gay relationship), but the film is basically a home movie with hopelessly poor editing, sound, acting, writing, and "plot". Comically earnest Greek-style choruses sing the moralistic conclusions of each of the three tales. It is an absolute marvel this made it into the international market.
Rated `E' for embarrassing."