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Queens of the Qing Dynasty (Dir. Ashley McKenzie, 2022)

Date: July 13, 2023

Time: 8:00pm

Location: 2220 Arts + Archives

Address: 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057


Los Angeles premiere!

Introduction by film critic Beatrice Loayza!

In a remote small town, a neurodivergent teen forms an unlikely rapport with an international student from Shanghai volunteering at the hospital where they are a patient. Between the two, a bond forms, cemented by their candid conversations, nightly text messages, and exchange of their deepest secrets. The boundaries of their friendship quickly expand into something special, altering their inner alchemy.


Queens of the Qing Dynasty is a queer story that breaches the absurd and poetic, the platonic and the romantic. Both intimate and intense, it explores the intrinsic beauty and innate flaws of what it is to be human, the profundity of connection, and the vortex of mental illness. The electronic music score blurs between cinema foley and sound design to create a feeling of an alternate plane. Queens of the Qing Dynasty is an affectionate ode to women, asexuals, and neurodiverse and genderqueer individuals who exist beyond the norms of society by writer and director Ashley McKenzie, who was previously featured at Acropolis with Werewolf (2016). 

In person: Beatrice Loayza


Daring. Destabilizing in the best, mind expanding way.

Nicolas Rapold, Artforum

A rare, cathartic, and humane commodity. McKenzie has given us a movie worth talking about.

Adam Nayman, Cinema Scope

Impressive. Showcases McKenzie’s flair for complex characters hoping to break free from their ennui.

Scout Tafoya,

Wonderfull bizarre... understands queerness the way that bell hooks did: as a 'self that is at odds with everything around it.'

Beatrice Loayza, The New York Times

Strikes a bold balance between internal and external observation: The film’s very intentional performance rhythms and detail-oriented mise-en-scène continually unsettle.

Lawrence Garcia, MUBI Notebook

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