It’s monsoon season in Singapore. Bugis Street, the epicentre of multisexual nightlife and unchained libido, is where a band of hedonistic, transidentical people has taken root at wacky love hotel SinSin. The lives of this crew of truly perverse, polymorph creatures are devoted exclusively to their dreams, beauty, desire and pleasure. Enter sixteen-year-old Lian, fresh from the country. She has come to this cheerfully hysterical madhouse to start work as a home help. Before long, this greenhorn becomes pampered mascot to these worldly queens and the particular pet of the sophisticated yet mysterious Drago. Lian’s coming of age in this turbulent environment engenders a good deal of heartache, fond farewells and sorrow in her young life but also leads her to the wise and laconic realisation that: ‘life and love is just like this hotel: nothing but constant comings and goings.’
Director Yonfan, one of the most significant proponents of Asian independent cinema, returns to the Berlinale’s Panorama with this brilliantly restored version of his 1995 work. The film’s transidentical cast caused quite a stir at its premiere at the time. Opulently photographed and designed, the work is an upbeat appeal for the right to self-determination – in life and love.
Hong Kong, China 1995/2012, 103 min
Hiep Thi Le