Love Man Love Woman
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Love Man Love Woman

Vietnam, 2007, 52 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Asian / Pacific Islander, Documentary, Gay, Religion / Spirituality, South East Asian, Transgender
Program: Documentary
Language: Vietnamese

DIRECTOR: Nguyen Trinh Thi

Who knew a religion could be so fabulous? Vietnam’s Dao Mau temples are one of the few places where gay men are able to flourish in the predominantly homophobic country. In these traditional temples, where attendance is surprisingly mixed, they’re able to express their sexuality and femininity, blurring the distinctions between genders. The sparkling costumes, resplendent altars and flamboyant rituals, replete with candles, incense, sequins and feathers — and don't forget the liquor and cigarettes! — are reminiscent of a performance by the Cockettes.
The religion’s priestesses are the Dong Co (literally, Woman’s Spirit), effeminate gay men who act as mediums for female spirits and the Mother Goddess. Their rites include many elements of conventional Western drag, with outrageous outfits and sharp-tongued humor. The documentary takes a heartening look at this group of ai nam ai nu (literally, “love man love woman,” a term used to refer to gay men in Vietnam) forging their own community, culture and rituals together.
Preceding the feature is Remi’s Secret, a short documentary portrait of a beautiful, warm-hearted trans Thai performer who yearns for acceptance as a woman and not just as a cabaret star like many trans women in Thailand. Set to Remi’s gifted piano playing, the film is suffused with dreamy soft-focused imagery of Thai cabaret spectacles. — PHILIPPE GOSSELIN

CO-PRESENTED BY

Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center



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