Film still from the short film Wegen Hegel, a man's face in profile with a mask

Wegen Hegel, 2023 Film still, courtesy of 70Steps

The Film Club: Popo Fan

Film and conversation

27.10 2023


See four short films by the Chinese filmmaker, author and activist Popo Fan. Hear him in a conversation with professor Ming Wong from the Royal Institute of Art. Popo Fan has directed films on topics such as same-sex marriages, transgender people, and racism, despite China’s state censorship.

During the eventing, a selection of Popo Fan’s short films will be screened, ranging from early documentaries to his later queer intersectional experiments.

The screenings are followed by a conversation between Popo Fan and Ming Wong, professor of performance in the expanded field at the Royal Institute of Art.

Popo Fan 范坡坡

Popo Fan is a filmmaker, writer, and activist from China, where his queer documentary films have made a notable impact. Since 2016, he has concentrated on writing and directing scripted, sex-positive shorts.

He is the co-founder of the Queer University Video Training Camp and has been an organizer of the Beijing Queer Film Festival for more than a decade.

He is currently based in Berlin developing his fictional feature debut.


New Beijing, New Marriage (18 min, 2009)
“Umm, two husbands, two wives. Perfect match!”
One of the first works of the director, documented a same-sex marriage street campaign in Beijing by taking wedding photos. The interviews with witnesses show a complex attitude of Chinese society on the topic.

The Drum Tower (18 min, 2018)
“Does it hurt?”
An introverted senior school student is fascinated by a transgender vintage shop owner. Can they break through the walls in this lonely and catastrophic city?

Lerne Deutsch in meiner Küche (2 min, 2020)
”Nein, ich habe nie eine Fledermaus gegessen”
A DIY video combining cooking and language learning and includes the director’s racist encounter due to COVID-19.

Wegen Hegel (14 min, 2023)
“The real is rational, and the rational is real.”
Under the pandemic lockdown, a “social-distance Chemsex hook-up” ruined by a Hegel book, leads to a philosophy trip on what is freedom.

Film still from the short film Wegen Hegel, two people photographed from behind on a bed
Wegen Hegel, 2023 Film still, courtesy of 70Steps