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Movie Info

Trailblazing artists, activists, and everyday people from across the spectrum of gender and sexuality defy social norms and dare to shine in this kaleidoscopic view of LGBTQ+ culture in contemporary Japan. From glossy pride parades to playfully perverse underground parties, Queer Japan pictures people living brazenly unconventional lives in the sunlight, the shadows, and everywhere in between. Dazzling, iconoclastic drag queen Vivienne Sato peels back the layers of language and identity. Maverick manga artist Gengoroh Tagame tours the world with his unapologetically erotic gay comics. Councilwoman Aya Kamikawa recounts her rocky path to becoming the first transgender elected official in Japan. At legendary kink-positive hentai party Department H, non-binary performance artist Saeborg uses rubber to create a second skin. Culled from 100+ interviews conducted over 3 years in locations across Japan, Queer Japan features dozens of individuals sharing their experiences in their own words. Get to know a vibrant and inspiring group of human beings in a country with a unique history of queer expression.

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Critic Reviews for Queer Japan

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (21)

  • Featuring a wide array of interviews from kinksters, club owners, drag artists, and politicians -- Graham Kolbeins paints an electric and multifaceted portrait of queer culture in contemporary Japan.

    December 14, 2020 | Full Review…
  • There's a lot to see and to think about here, all well-curated by a documentarian with a clear passion for his subject.

    December 11, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Weaving something like 100 interviews into the narrative, director Graham Kolbeins paints with broad strokes, revealing a portrait of identity, labels and culture that's pretty dang enthralling.

    December 11, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Something of a freewheeling, kaleidoscopic delight, albeit one that is always aware of the struggles its subjects have endured.

    December 10, 2020 | Full Review…
  • The movie is a plea not simply for respect but for a recognition of the existential reality of each of our identities.

    July 26, 2019 | Full Review…
  • An engagingly colorful panorama.

    July 23, 2019 | Full Review…

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