Call Me By Your Name, Luca Gudagnino’s 2017 film about a romance between two young Americans in 1980s Italy, was pulled from the Beijing International Film Festival’s lineup. While neither festival spokespersons nor the film’s distributor, Sony Pictures International, have provided a reason for the film’s sudden removal from the April festival’s program, a source tells Reuters that it was “not approved by regulators.” Translation: they weren’t down with all the gay shit.
A “Beijing-based film analyst” named Wu Jian said the movie was “in deviation from the policy environment in China.” While the country has not prohibited homosexuality outright, it has long been opposed to the entire concept. Just last year, the China Netcasting Services Association banned homosexual content from “online video and audio content” to considerable outrage from progressive activists within the country and outsiders.
Fortunately, it is getting better. China’s young people, by and large, have no problems with homosexuality, though it looks like it might be harder for them to watch a movie where a young gay dude has sex with a peach. Speaking of, “the divided peach” is a apparently a traditional Chinese term for a gay person. In his book The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies, James Neill wrote about a time in Chinese history when homosexuality was “pervasive” immediately following the Han dynasty. He writes:
[In the third century], homosexuality “flourished considerably and was as extensive as attraction to women. All the gentlemen and officials esteemed it. All men in the realm followed this fashion to the extent that husbands and wives were estranged. Resentful unmarried women became jealous.” Other writers describe men so enamored of the love of other men that they would flee at the sight of a woman. A contemporary poet captured the predicament of a woman in such an atmosphere: “she dawdles, not daring to move closer, afraid he might compare her with leftover peach,” alluding to the term “half-eaten peach,” used as a reference to homosexual love since Mizi Xia, a thousand years earlier, had offered one to his Zhou dynasty royal lover.
Interesting. (That link is NSFW if your work is not down with you watching a dude fuck a peach.)