Immediately after the feature, ticket holders can enjoy a pre-recorded bonus Q&A with director Evans Chan, Qiu Miaojin translator Ari Heinrich, and Carlos Rojas, scholar of Chinese literature.
Part literary documentary, part fantasy romance, LOVE & DEATH IN MONTMARTRE explores the life and work of lesbian Taiwanese writer Qiu Miaojin, whose suicide at age 26 devastated a generation of queer youth and whose ardent claim to her own right to love accelerated the movement for queer rights in Taiwan. Largely told through Qiu’s own words, we are shown a young woman’s longing not just for another’s love but for herself. In the face of a society’s suppression of sapphism, she writes and lives furiously.
In contrast to the monstrous apparition with which she self-identifies in her debut novel, interviews with her close friends, former teachers, and contemporary admirers reveal the radiant residue of a fluttering human spirit. Qiu’s irrepressible desire to be seen, held, and remembered is as touching as it is haunting. Evans Chan’s sumptuous filmmaking, which bridges historical documentary and evocative performance, is a fitting tribute to the cosmopolitan longings of a literary goddess.