Papa Rainbow《彩虹伴我行》

Showing at 1:30pm on 29 October 2016 (Sat) @ CUHK Yasumoto International Academic Park LT3


In China, most families have difficulties facing their lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) children. They have to contend with common social beliefs that homosexuality is shameful, abnormal, a perverted condition caused by deviant family relationships. Many parents see their kids as their property, and fathers often rule their family kingdom with an iron hand to ensure that no harm comes to the family reputation. Chinese fathers are commonly seen as conservative, despotic figures, epitomes of the age-old patriarchy governing all levels of Chinese society.


Four years ago, the documentary "Mama Rainbow" showed a pioneer generation of Chinese mothers stepping up to speak out on their love for their LGBT children. The documentary conquered the heart of many viewers, yet it also gave rise to an urgent question: where are the rainbow fathers in China?

The documentary "Papa Rainbow" sets out on a quest to answer this question, and crosses the country to find six fathers able and willing to open up about their relationship with their LGBT children. They lead very different lives, have very different educational and cultural backgrounds, yet they all experienced a cascade of intense emotions when their children came out to them.


"Papa Rainbow" follows the Chinese fathers on their journey towards acceptance of their LGBT children. Struggling with societal pressure and with their own emotions, the fathers embark on an emotional quest to ensure a better living environment for their children. The documentary zooms in on a cathartic drama workshop, where the fathers create and perform a theater play about the daily challenges faced by their LGBT children. The experience leads them to reflect on their paternal roles, on their past attitudes towards LGBT, and on traditional Chinese ideas favouring hyper-masculinity and heterosexuality.


Switching between theater play and reality, "Papa Rainbow" creates intimate portraits of the six fathers, and shows how they become pioneer leaders in an ever-growing movement for LGBT equality in China.

About the Director

Popo Fan is a Chinese independent film maker, writer and activist. After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy, he wrote the book “Happy Together: Complete Record of a Hundred Queer Films”(Beifang Wenyi Press, 2007).


He has directed several globally acclaimed queer-themed documentaries and has been a major force in showing queer films to audiences across China. In 2011, he was awarded the Prism Award of the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival for his work, and in 2015 he received the Visual Inspiration of the Year Award at ALMA (Asia LGBT Milestone Awards).


In 2015 he had sued the Chinese authority for banning his film Mama Rainbow online. This was the first case like this ever been accepted, and he had got a victory of the case.


FILMOGRAPHY (selection)

2009 | New Beijing, New Marriage | 18 min.

2009 | Paper House | 18 min.

2010 | Chinese Closet | 88 min.

2011 | Be a Woman | 84 min.

2012 | Mama Rainbow | 80 min. 

2013 | The VaChina Monologues | 28 min. 

Haoqi & Shin 《好奇心》



Haoqi and Shin are two normal girls- one from Hong Kong, the other from mainland China- who fell in love with each other. Though they quarrel like a normal couple, they still want to be with each other. Shin is extremely self-centered, demanding to be taken care of; whereas Haoqi thinks of herself as a suppression sufferer, who can’t live without Shin’s support.

About the Directors

JIANG Wanfang and ZHAO Yalin are alumni of the Department of Religious & Cultural Studies at CUHK.  This short was produced in the course MA in Visual Culture Studies course Documentary Media. 

JIANG & ZHAO live in Hong Kong working in the media and art industries.  Their film Haoqi & Shin was an entrant in the 2016 Hong Kong Pingdi Film Festival.