A feature documentary about LGBTQ+ artists and activists in Japan.
2019 • Japanese with English subtitles • 100 minutes
Directed by Graham Kolbeins • Produced by Hiromi Iida • Co-Written by Anne Ishii
Trailblazing artists, activists, and everyday people from across the spectrum of gender and sexuality defy social norms and dare to shine in this kaleidoscopic view of LGBTQ+ culture in contemporary Japan. From glossy pride parades to playfully perverse underground parties, Queer Japan pictures people living brazenly unconventional lives in the sunlight, the shadows, and everywhere in between.
Dazzling, iconoclastic drag queen Vivienne Sato peels back the layers of language and identity. Maverick manga artist Gengoroh Tagame tours the world with his unapologetically erotic gay comics. Councilwoman Aya Kamikawa recounts her rocky path to becoming the first transgender elected official in Japan. At legendary kink-positive hentai party Department H, performance artist Saeborg uses rubber to create a second skin.
Culled from 100+ interviews conducted over 3 years in locations across Japan, Queer Japan features dozens of individuals sharing their experiences in their own words. Get to know a vibrant and inspiring group of human beings in a country with a unique history of queer expression.
Cast: Vivienne Sato, Gengoroh Tagame, Atsushi Matsuda, Nogi Sumiko, Hiroshi Hasegawa, Akira the Hustler, Tomato Hatakeno, Leslie Kee, Aya Kamikawa
Rainbow Reel Tokyo
Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival
Reel Affirmations XTRA (Washington D.C.)
Vancouver Queer Film Festival
Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
Camera Japan Festival (Rotterdam)
Seattle Queer Film Festival
NewFest New York's LGBTQ Film Festival
Beijing Queer Film Festival
Ljubljana LGBT Film Festival
Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
International Queer & Migrant Film Festival (Amsterdam)
Za-Koenji Documentary Film Festival (Tokyo)
Mardi Gras Film Festival (Sydney)