Queer East: Peafowl 18

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From the archive

This film was last shown on 20 November 2023

Shin-myung is a transgender woman and dancer who competes in waacking, a form of voguing. Having cut ties with her family and rural hometown, Shin-myung seek various ways to fund her gender reassignment surgery. But one day, she is informed that her estranged father, a master of Nongak folk music, has died.

He stipulated that Shin-myung can receive her inheritance money if she returns to the village and performs a traditional drum dance, as part of his memorial rituals. Unwilling to yield to her intolerant father’s posthumous demands, the unapologetic Shin-myung is forced to reluctantly reconnect with her past while staying true to herself.

Driven by an empowering vision of trans identity, this assured debut feature from Byun Sung-bin contemplates the possibilities – and limits – of forgiveness.

This screening is preceded by an introduction from Dr Gemma Ballard, University of Sheffield, School of East Asian Studies. 

Byun Sung-bin
1 hour 55 minutes
Korean with English Subtitles
Choi Hae-jun, Ko Jae-Hyun


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