Vancouver International Film Festival 2022
Screening Dates
VIFF 2022

Recovering from a suicide attempt in a Cape Breton hospital, Star (Sarah Walker), a neurodiverse teen, is drawn into the orbit of An (Ziyin Zheng), a genderqueer volunteer. Despite their disparate backgrounds (An has recently arrived from Shanghai), the pair operate on identical idiosyncratic frequencies, fortifying their bond through a flurry of text messages and unguarded declarations. After disclosing her aspiration of becoming a trophy wife to An, Star incants, You’re sinning… making me evil.”

In reality, there’s nothing sinister afoot in Ashley McKenzie’s (Werewolf, 2016) extraordinary sophomore feature. Rather, it’s a disarmingly open-hearted, formally exhilarating ode to a fairy tale friendship. A heady mix of unvarnished-yet-eloquent dialogue, transportive electronic compositions by Yu Su and Cecile Believe, and visual flourishes that meld social media, animation, and VR, the film sees McKenzie adhering to her social realist principles while exploring a more expansive, sensorially rich brand of cinema. Unfolding in society’s margins, Queens of the Qing Dynasty burns as incandescently as its two stars.

In English, Mandarin, and Russian with English subtitles

Cast: Sarah Walker, Ziyin Zheng, Wendy Wishart, Jana Reddick, Yao Xue, Cherlena Brake

Panorama: An array of remarkable narrative films from every corner of the globe

VIFF Signature

The Cinematheque is pleased to join with the Vancouver International Film Festival in co-presenting these in-cinema screenings during VIFF 2022. Please note that Cinematheque Passes and Ticket Packs are not valid for any Vancouver International Film Festival screenings.