“When I’m driving as a man, nobody notices me, everyone goes Chink, but when I’m Zoe people are honking me, winking at me, tailing me and she’s like ‘voom’, speeding down the West Way.” – Zoe.
‘Deconstructing Zoe’ is a vivid and intimate portrait of a transgender actor. It is an exploration of gender, race and sexuality, seen through Zoe’s eyes. We trace the journey from boyhood in a small town in Malaysia to the West-end stage via the trans’ scene of London.
Interviews are interwoven with performances from Zoe’s semi-auto biographical play “An Occasional Orchid”. The performance pieces echo the experience of a transgendered person, who Zoe says often live a twilight existence. The orchid is also a metaphor for how Asian women are seen to be exotic, beautiful and desirable in the West.
‘Deconstructing Zoe’ has an important message to us all, that gender is not fixed or binary, but for some is a spectrum, and that at any one time we can be gender queer and sexually fluid.
Following the film there will be a Q&A session with the film’s director, Rosa Fong, who will be in discussion about the film and its themes, including its practice led approach with Dr Felicia Chan, lecturer in screen studies at the University of Manchester’s School of Arts, Languages and Cultures and the co editor of Genre in Asian Film and Television, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
- 6.00pm – Registration and Refreshments
- 6.30pm – Film Screening
- 7.30pm – Q&A Session
- 8.15pm – Refreshments and Networking
Rosa Fong is a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television in the dept of Media at Edge Hill University, and her research interests are in Transcultural identities, narrative structures, memory, displacement and identity and performativity. Her recent practice-led research is explored through the 52 min documentary, ‘Deconstructing Zoe’ (www.deconstructingzoe.com).
Rosa Fong is also an award winning writer/director with over 15 years experience working in the film/ television industry, winning awards from the British Film Institute and Arts Council of England. She has directed programmes for both the BBC and Channel 4, worked in Hong Kong as a commercials director and directed music videos for MTV and Partizan.
BFI Screen On-line comments – “Rosa’s short film, ‘Red’ from 1995, remains one of the very few British films to examine a British-Chinese culture clash on a level other than a comedic one.”