One of the films we hoped would get distribution at the start of the year was Ashley McKenzie’s Werewolf follow-up Queens of the Qing Dynasty, a selection at Berlinale, TIFF, and NYFF. Thankfully, Factory 25 has come to the rescue and will debut the queer coming-of-age drama starting on May 5 at NYC’s Metrograph. Ahead of the release the new trailer and poster have arrived.

Here’s the synopsis: “Following a failed suicide attempt, introverted smalltown teenager Star (Sarah Walker) is subjected to constant invasive monitoring that does little to help her—until her encounter with An (Ziyin Zheng), a similarly genderqueer international student from Shanghai who’s been assigned to watch her in hospital, offers an unexpected chance for connection. Their blossoming relationship—two kindred spirits meeting across spectrums of culture, queerness, and neurodiversity—unfolds with alchemic crackle, leading up to a deeply moving denouement.”

Jared Mobarak said in his review, “Our introductions to writer/director Ashley McKenzie’s leads in Queens of the Qing Dynasty are not to be forgotten. Whether Star’s (Sarah Walker) open-mouthed and fully dilated thousand-yard stare in a hospital bed after her latest suicide attempt (this time for drinking poison) or An’s (Ziyin Zheng) voice regaling the women nurses with a Chinese song while their supervisor drawls “Old Macdonald” in response, the notion that we’re dealing with two eccentrics in a world that may never understand them is abundantly clear. It’s therefore only right that they’d end up being put on a collision course ignited by duty (An’s hospital volunteer is assigned Star’s evening suicide watch) yet sustained by genuine intrigue. They share their deepest secrets without judgement, ultimately discovering things about themselves along the way.”

See the trailer below.

Queens of the Qing Dynasty opens on May 5 at Metrograph and will expand.

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