Chih-Ting and Chia-Lin, two students at a girls’ high school in Pingtung, have been good friends for years, and are always together, both inside and outside the classroom. The closeness of their bond leads their relationship to come under intense scrutiny, however, when their classmates start a rumour that the pair are a lesbian couple. Girls’ School was one instalment in what was dubbed the ‘Taiwanese Urban Female Trilogy’ produced and directed by Lee Mi-Mi in the 1980s, centred around strong female characterisation and relationships. Made in 1982, when homosexuality was suppressed in Taiwan, this beautifully shot, rediscovered melodrama endorses the prevailing ideologies of the time – but simultaneously exposes the fragility of contemporary views on issues such as bullying, single-parent households, and same-sex desire.
This screening will be followed by an online Q&A with Chun-Chi Wang, Executive Director of Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute.