Hong Kong cinema has long offered complex queer narratives alongside more heteronormative ones. Celebrate on-screen representation with our fave Hong Kong LGBTQ movies.
With the rich history and legacy of Hong Kong cinema, it’s no surprise that there have been more than a few LGBTQ gems throughout the years. While there’s a plethora of classic Hong Kong movies, Canto horror movies, and romantic movies that we have on repeat, sometimes we’re jonesing for more on-screen representation. From comedy to drama, queer themes pop up everywhere in Hong Kong films. To recognise the diverse voices in local media, check out some of the best Hong Kong LGBTQ movies.
The best Hong Kong LGBTQ movies
1. Happy Together (1997)
As far as Hong Kong LGBTQ movies are concerned, there are few as celebrated as Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together. Starring two of Hong Kong’s top actors, Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung, the film follows an on-again-off-again couple stuck in Argentina. A fiery and heart-wrenching drama, Happy Together offers an unflinching look at both the messiness and passion of relationships. This is a film that’s a classic in not just queer cinema, but also Hong Kong cinema in general.
2. Butterfly (2004)
Based on a Taiwanese novel, Butterfly explores the yearning and struggles of a married schoolteacher grappling with her own homosexuality. After an ill-fated romance with a girl as a teenager, the woman, now in her 30s, finds herself falling in love again with another free-spirited young singer. Butterfly explores the journey of someone trying to find herself while experiencing passionate love again after many years of repression.
3. All About Love (2010)
From famed Hong Kong director Ann Hui, All About Love follows two women, who had once been lovers, crossing paths again years later at a counselling session for pregnant women. As both women’s pregnancies resulted from one-off flings, the two find themselves reconnecting, giving way to a whole new batch of challenges. All About Love tackles themes like queer found family, bisexuality, and gender using both comedy and wit, as well as paying tribute to Hong Kong LGBTQ movies before its time, such as Happy Together.
4. Suk Suk (2019)
A poignant tale of romance and repression unfolds in Suk Suk. When two men in their twilight years meet and fall in love, they struggle to contemplate a life together due to external circumstances. Tackling nuanced subjects and tender passion with aplomb, Suk Suk is a critically acclaimed look at late-in-life homosexuality. With wonderful performances and an enduring story, the film is a refreshing entry into the ranks of Hong Kong queer cinema.
5. Who’s the Woman, Who’s the Man? (1996)
One of the few Hong Kong LGBTQ movies that is also a romantic comedy, Who’s the Woman, Who’s the Man? is the sequel to the successful romcom He’s a Woman, She’s a Man (1994). After the events of the first film where Wing poses as a man to get close to pop songwriter Sam, Wing now finds herself as one of the top male Cantopop stars. The genderbending antics continue in this film with the addition of Anita Mui’s Fong Yim Mui – a returning Cantopop diva who begins to fall for Wing. Who’s the Woman, Who’s the Man? delightfully plays with gender and attraction to hilarious and heartfelt conclusions.
6. Tracey (2018)
A nuanced look at the struggles faced by the titular trans character, Tracey is a moving modern queer film. Following a married 51-year-old’s increasing desire to transition from male to female, the film explores moments of heartache as well as joy. Tackling a complex story delicately and thoughtfully, Tracey presents a layered take on a complicated individual and the people that surround them.