Boys for Beauty by film director Mickey Chen is a frank and entertaining portrait of the lives and family relations of three gay teenagers in Taipei. This documentary candidly captures the day-to-day realities of its protagonists, and makes a brave statement against gender norms in a Confucian society.
One boy decides to break up with his boyfriend before studying abroad, another is an elite high school student seen as an outcast by his peers, and still another is a beautiful, androgynous cross-dressing performer. Besides its subjects, the film also recognises their supportive family members who must necessarily bear much of the pressure when their son or brother comes out of the closet. Marking an exceptional achievement for documentaries in Taiwan, the film was a box-office success as well as a brilliant exposé of the lifestyles of people on the fringes of society.
""Boys for Beauty" is a great relief for me, as it allowed me to return to the innocence of queer youth. I learned a lot from these flaming kids and got to know more about documentary - the genre that empowers me these years."
- 2000 Taiwan International Documentary Festival - Audience Award
- 2000 Singapore International Film Festival
- 1999 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival - "New Asian Currents” Competition
- 1999 Taipei Film Awards - Independent Spirit Award