His seminal 1984 documentary and its sequel made over 30 years later, offering a fascinating peek into the lives and thoughts of seven queer pan-Asian Canadians.
Queer East: Richard Fung Double Bill Orientations: Lesbian & Gay Asians / Richard Fung / 1986 / 56min.
Richard Fung’s seminal 1985 film was the first documentary to explore the perspectives of queer Asians in North America, featuring interviews with fourteen lesbian women and gay men of different Asian backgrounds. The film captures pivotal moments in Toronto’s history, and presents an intimate portrait of the texture of queer lives and politics at that time. Its themes include the process of coming out; homosexuality within Asian communities; understanding racism within the lesbian, gay, and feminist communities; and cultural self-assertion through art. Active in Canadian LGBT organizations such as Lesbians of Colour and Gay Asians Toronto, the participants’ commitment and outspokenness challenge the stereotype of passive Asians. Making a case for the importance of different communities working together in allyship, Orientations enables its interviewees to speak about the ways that being queer and Asian have shaped who they are.
Queer East: Re-Orientations / Richard Fung / 2016 / 68min.
Over thirty years after the release of Orientations: Lesbian & Gay Asians, Fung revisits some of the original participants, offering a fascinating peek into the lives and thoughts of seven queer pan-Asian Canadians. Re:Orientations features the original interviewees as they watch the footage of their younger selves, reflect on how their lives have changed, and discuss how the world around them has evolved over the intervening three decades. Their interviews are contextualized by conversations with six younger queer and trans activists, scholars and artists. Bold in scope, Re:Orientations relates the history of over three decades of queer Asian experience in Canada.