Night Scene is an apparently low budget documentary from China about “rent boys” in Beijing. English
speaking audiences are likely to find the sub-titles to be infuriating as the translation is lazy. Long
discourses are shortened to a sentence or two of summary. I suspect an immense amount of important text is
One striking feature of the young men in this film compared to other hustler documentaries or dramatic narrative
films is that very few of the rent boys seem to have had their self-esteem damaged by what many others seem to
consider their degrading work. Even the self-described heterosexuals for the most part do not seem distressed
by the way they put food on their tables.
There appears to be a lot of social support of these guys for each other. Perhaps that explains why only a
few of them are characterized by self-hate. Drug use appears to be low, as well.
I don’t recommend this film to anyone who does not understand Chinese dialects until or unless the sub-titles
have been improved.