Brotherhood of no return: A queer reading of Niu Chen-Zer's Monga
This essay positions the 2010 highest-grossing domestic film, Monga, in Taiwan's nativist discourses and teases out the alterity of queerness in the coming-of-age 'buddy' film. I contend that Monga disengages from the narrative of 'sadness' (beiqing) which characterizes the Taiwan New Cinema in the late 1980s and New Wave Cinema in the 1990s. I read the queer element in the film as a trope for a tendency, as can be seen in other coming-of-age cultural productions after the millennium, to move past the dwelling over a homogenized colonial experience in Taiwan's contemporary historical narratives. As the diegesis of the film displaces the nostalgic search for one's cultural roots with a self-alienating subjectivity by a sublimation of homoeroticism, I posit that Monga performs a 'patricide' in its contestation of Taiwanese nationhood and gestures towards a transformative process constituted by self-estrangement.
Journal of Chinese Cinemas
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Wang, Chialan Sharon, "Brotherhood of no return: A queer reading of Niu Chen-Zer's Monga" (2015). Kean Publications. 1913.