The Rib 2018
While Chinese queer directors have explored trans characters and featured trans actors before, Zhang Wei’s „The Rib” is the first mainstream feature film to interrogate contemporary Chinese society’s transphobia. Trans woman Huang Yi braves coming out to her patronizing male roommate and her devoutly Catholic father, whose signature she needs for male-to-female surgery. Meanwhile, Huang’s defiantly proud post-op friend, Liu Mann, reminds us all that the greatest challenges are of the heart, not the body. A director of passionate, socially topical films including „Factory Boss” (2014), Zhang Wei has created a queer-positive film that details patriarchy, heterosexism, and transphobia while following a father’s gradual recognition of his daughter’s struggle and his embrace of a new meaning for family.