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A Movie About Falling in Love with a Qing Dynasty God is Showing at Tribeca Film Festival this Week

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Ever fallen in love, in love with someone you shouldn’t have fallen in love with? An unusual love story is at the heart of a new short film from Chinese American director Andrew Thomas Huang. Entitled Kiss of the Rabbit God, the movie is “about a Chinese restaurant worker who falls in love with an 18th century Qing dynasty god”, and is showing as part of the Tribeca Film Festival’s N.O.W. selection in New York on April 25 and 30.

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兔兒神 “Kiss of the Rabbit God” a film about a Chinese restaurant worker who falls in love with an 18th century Qing dynasty god. Premiering at Tribeca N.O.W. at #Tribeca2019 screening April 25, 6:30pm and April 30th 5pm at the festival. Link in bio for more info. Directed by @andrewthomashuang Produced by @saranassim Starring @mrtaedoo & @jfcting Cinematography by @the_rinayang Production design by @stellathediver Costume design by @stephstrate Hair makeup and adornments by @ladysoulfly Sound design by @nathan.ruyle Fx makeup by @ojalavision & @ambermfx_ Colorist @earth_to_greg Executive Producers @sara11may & @lildiff Supported by @nowness & @cinereach A @collider__ production

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The god in question is 兔儿神 (Tu er Shen), “a Chinese deity who manages the love and sex between homosexual people”, according to Wikipedia. That entry goes on to note that, “In 2006, Lu Wei-ming founded a temple for Tu’er Shen in Yonghe District in the New Taipei City in Taiwan. Roughly 9,000 gay pilgrims visit the temple each year praying to find a suitable partner. The Wei-ming temple also performs a love ceremony for gay couples at the world’s only religious shrine for homosexuals.”

Anyway, here’s a trailer for the film, which looks fantastic:

And here are the details for the screenings — catch them if you can.

If you’re not already familiar with Huang’s work, you might want to start following the filmmaker and visual artist right now. Huang recently worked as creative director for the Björk Digital exhibition, which presented 360 degree VR accompaniments to the Icelandic artist’s Vulnicura album, and directed this beautiful new video from FKA Twigs, which just dropped:

For more on Chinese animal gods making it into American popular culture, check out our guide to the fox spirit who featured in Netflix’s recent Love, Death + Robots series. And for a deep dive into the world of Chinese ghosts and ghouls, go here:

The Long List of Chinese Ghosts and Ghouls

Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for publications such as South China Morning Post and the Financial Times.