Set in the midst of the marriage equality campaign in Taiwan of late 2019, Ming-Lang Chen’s touching drama is one that will linger with you, long after the film’s ending.
Civics teacher Kevin (Oscar Chiu) lives a relatively carefree life. He has a strong relationship with his mother and despite the small jabs from his students, he manages to coast by without any scrutiny as a gay man in a country that is slowly learning to accept queer lives as equals. He takes a risk by moving into his older boyfriend Gao’s (Chin-Hao Chang) luxury apartment – unaware that he is still married and committed to presenting a false livelihood. As his private life and work life collide, the inevitable exposure of a gay man and a rumour of living HIV threatens to destroy everything that Kevin has built for himself. Featuring some delicate handheld camera work and editing that makes the film feel almost cinéma vérité, The Teacher is an excellent character study and time capsule of a country that has paved the way for Asian countries in the quest for marriage equality.
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