MONEYBOYS // with engl. subs

C.B. Yi, AT, BE, FR, TW,, 2021
120 min., OmeU
#de In seinem packenden Regiedebüt erzählt C.B. Yi vom jungen Fei, der in der chinesischen Großstadt lebt und sein Geld als illegaler Sexarbeiter verdient, um seine Familie am Land zu unterstützen.

#en Fei works illegally as a hustler in order to support his family, yet when he realizes they are willing to accept his money but not his way of life, there is a major breakdown in their relations.
#de „Moneyboys“ werden in China junge Männer genannt, die sich prostituieren, um ihre Familien am Land zu unterstützen. Dass sie ihren Körper verkaufen statt „nur“ ihre Arbeitskraft, macht sie zum Inbegriff eines alles kapitalisierenden Systems, das sie seinerseits dafür verachtet und verstößt. Fei ist einer von ihnen. Wir sehen ihn mit Kunden, mit seinem Lover, allein, bei seiner Familie, beim Sex, als Freund. In langen, geduldigen Einstellungen beobachtet C.B. Yi, wie Fei von Schuldgefühlen und Aufopferungswillen getrieben zu Klarheit findet über sich, die Liebe und das Leben, das sich am Ende feiert in einem befreienden Tanz. (Barbara Kronsfoth)

#en The debut feature by C.B. Yi provides an intimate look at a milieu seldom examined in Chinese cinema – the tight-knit community of gay hustlers who ply their trade in Beijing. MONEYBOYS explores the inherent conflict between China’s rapacious capitalism and the homophobia at the heart of both traditional and Communist belief systems. The film centers on Fei, a hustler who sends much of his money back home. But while returning to his village to visit his ailing grandfather, Fei is humiliated by his father’s friends, including Fei’s own uncle. They want his dirty money, but prefer to disavow him completely.
Life back home now impossible, Fei fully commits himself to his milieu of gay hustler friends. He eventually hooks up with Long, a young man from his village who has moved to Beijing to start over. But he has never gotten over Xiaolai, his mentor and first love, who disappeared after being brutally injured while protecting Fei from a violent john. Yi adeptly conveys the urban alienation that typifies life in Beijing.
While displaying the influence of such master filmmakers as Tsai Ming-liang and Hou Hsiao-hsien, MONEYBOYS announces the arrival of a significant new voice in cinema. (Michael Sicinski)