Canada Custom’s targeting of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender material has had an impact on more than just book stores. Independent multi-media artist Kai Ling Xue knows that now.
Xue’s latest short film “A Girl Named Kai” has been showing at numerous film festivals throughout North America this year. Recently it was screened at the Austin International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The film, en route back to Canada, was seized and held by Canada Customs. Xue received a terse letter from the Government on September 29, 2004.
The letter states that Xue’s film has been sent to the Senior Program Advisor in Ottawa to be evaluated on it’s “obscene” content. Xue’s 9-minute short took the Canadian Government 7 days to determine that the
material is not obscene. However, Xue still has not gotten her film back. The Government document gives no indications about the film’s returning date nor any phone or fax number. Ironically, the film contains no nudity or sexual content. Rather, it is a lyrical and sometimes melancholy
meditation on Xue’s relationship with her family and sense of self.
“A Girl Named Kai” will be screened on Oct 5th at 9:15 pm and Oct 8th at 1:40pm at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival.