Wed, 11 Oct, 6:45pm – 9:30pm

NEXTGEN Film Event – A generation on... 

Has the contemporary Chinese Australian narrative changed 25 years on? The Chinese Museum presents a trilogy of films from first generation filmmakers Tony Ayres and Lisa Wang and next generation filmmaker Derek Ho. Each screening is followed by a Q&A from the filmmaker.


7:00pm China Dolls (1997) dir Tony Ayres

Duration 28 mins

Tony Ayres (born 16 July 1962) is an Australian showrunner, screenwriter, director in television and feature film. He is most notable for his films Walking on Water and The Home Song Stories, as well as his work in television, including working as the showrunner on The Slap and teen adventure series Nowhere Boys. China Dolls is a documentary about growing up gay and Chinese in Australia. From a highly personal perspective, filmmaker Tony Ayres talks about being a 'banana' - yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Using personal history as a starting point, the documentary becomes a complex exploration of the relationship between race, sexuality and body image. As well as Tony Ayres, the documentary features renowned photographer and performer William Yang and actor Anthony Wong.


7:45pm Reunion (1998): dir Lisa Wang

Duration 52 mins

Lisa Wang didn’t know she was different until she started school. Her mother, Mabel, remembers her daughter coming home one day and asking, “At school they say I’m Chinese, Mum, am I?”Lisa was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1955 to a second generation Australian mother and a Chinese father David Wang, who immigrated during the White Australia policy in the late 1940s. Reunion contains extraordinary footage depicting the Wang family life in Australia from the 1950s to the present day.  The film explores the confusion the children experienced and their profound loss of identity as they realised that neither culture claimed them unconditionally as complex human beings with a culturally rich inheritance. Lisa grew up confused, a woman defined by her patriarchal Chinese family structure but within an Australian culture that rejected her as foreign. Lisa’s search takes her beyond the cultural and language differences she perceives as being problematic, back to a time before any of the differences mattered. At the family reunion, to celebrate her Great Aunt Marie’s 100th birthday, all the elements come together. Through shared memories and experiences a true connection is made and Lisa experiences the joy of belonging.


9:00pm Forgiveness Day (2020): dir Derek Ho

Duration 15 mins

As a queer filmmaker of Asian background, Derek Ho understands the nuances and the intersections of being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. He seeks to showcase diverse stories and his work has been described as brave, sensitive, considered and nuanced. Stylistically, Derek likes pushing boundaries of what defines a documentary. His hybrid mode of storytelling blurs the lines while striking the fine balance in crafting an authentic and compelling story. Forgiveness Day is a portrait of love and trauma, where two brothers find themselves navigating the space between trust, faith and healing. Derek Ho journeys back to Singapore in the hope of revealing to Jeremiah a secret that has been deeply buried for the last thirty years. The film was commissioned by The New York Times' Op-Docs, was awarded Best Australian Short Film and Best Short Documentary at the 31st Melbourne Queer Film Festival in 2021. He was also nominated for Best Direction for Short Documentary at the Australia Directors Guild Award 2021.


At interval, enjoy a cocktail at the Dragon Bar or Chinese tea and mooncakes (additional charge).



Event is suitable for 18 years and above. Event is conducted in English only.

Autumn Moon Nights, at the Chinese Museum

The Autumn Moon Festival is full of fanciful stories and characters such as Chang Er who drinks the elixir of life, an archer who shoots down twelve suns and a rabbit in the moon.

To celebrate evenings under the Autumn Moon on the Chinese calendar, the Chinese Museum opens its doors during the month of October for you to experience traditional, contemporary, and reinterpreted Chinese popular culture.

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