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Queens of the Qing Dynasty

Directed by Ashley McKenzie
Canada, 2022 (fiction, 122 minutes, colour, English / Mandarin / Russian)

Film Description:
"Star, a suicidal teen now too old for foster care, develops a candid rapport with An, a student from Shanghai who is assigned to watch her while she is in hospital. A nightly exchange of secrets, text messages and possessions quickly expands the boundaries of their relationship, altering their inner chemistry. Gilded by a soundscape that interweaves work by emerging and pioneering electronic musicians, Queens of the Qing Dynasty is an offbeat ode to neurodiversity and genderqueer individuals who refuse to conform. Director Ashley McKenzie's blend of formalism and gritty realism does not fail to surprise and treats the audience to flashes of visual and conceptual poetry. Her cast is entirely composed of first-time actors who convincingly convey how unique every individual is, both in how they see the world and how they relate to others. [...]"
-- Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival) (source)

Film Description:
"Star (Sarah Walker) is a neurodiverse teen in a remote small town who, following a suicide attempt, has been deemed unfit to live independently. Star's everyday life is consumed with intrusive prodding by doctors and countless negotiations with social workers and nameless faces who can't seem to break through. When An (Ziyin Zheng), an international student from Shanghai, is assigned to watch Star in hospital, a peculiar, promising relationship is ignited, one that offers a new lease on life. Inspired by two teenagers McKenzie befriended during the casting of her influential debut Werewolf [...], Queens of the Qing Dynasty is an offbeat, tender story that encapsulates one of those once-in-a-lifetime chance encounters. If David Lynch and Nora Ephron had a child, it would exist in McKenzie's charming and singular universe. With a distinct sense of style and framing and a directed voice for social realism, McKenzie is becoming a new great Canadian auteur. Her unparalleled worlds are inhabited by characters longing to be understood. McKenzie succeeds in putting the unseen, the unheard, and those otherwise in the shadows into full focus."
-- Ravi Srinivasan (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Ashley McKenzie
Produced by: Ashley McKenzie, Brittany Kerr, Nelson MacDonald
Principal Cast: Sarah Walker, Ziyin Zheng, Wendy Wishart, Jana Reddick, Yao Xue, Cherlena 'Sassi' Brake, Reg MacDonald, Carl Getto, Nidhin KH, Rony Robson
Cinematography: Scott Moore
Film Editing: Ashley McKenzie, Scott Moore
Music: Yu Su, Cecile Believe
Production Company: Hi-Vis Film

Notes about Queens of the Qing Dynasty


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