Dear Tenant

親愛的房客

Directed by Cheng Yu-chieh

Cast: Chen Shu-Fang, Mo Tzu-Yi

This film is available to view in California only.

Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, 2020 Golden Horse Awards

For five years after the death of his partner Li Wei, Lin (Mo Tzu-yi) has dutifully continued to take care of Li Wei’s son and ailing mother (Chen Shu-fang), until she suddenly passes. Once again struck by loss, Lin becomes embroiled in legal troubles when Li Gang, Li Wei’s distant brother, accuses Lin of having conspired to kill Li Wei’s mother after adopting his son in order to inherit their property. It’s an unfathomable suggestion, considering Lin’s clear and solemn earnestness, portrayed skillfully by Mo. Still, Li Gang’s accusations are able to gain credibility under the speculative eye of the court, which finds Lin’s queer relationship with Li Wei and his family illegible, and ties together evidence to frame Lin as the perfect suspect.

Director Cheng Yu-chieh fuses all the elements of a salacious courtroom drama — enhanced by flashbacks that reveal secrets and stir the emotions — with a heart-wrenching story of queer love and loss. Both affectively tender and brutal in its melodrama, the film attests to the incongruities between law and society that remain even after the landmark legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan in 2019.

–Justin Nguyen

Co-Presented by NAAAP San Diego, QAPIMEDA, UC San Diego I-House