Epic gay film The Third Country stars two tender young twinks, Jiang Yi-chen and Lee Cen-yi. The story mixes taboo homosexual relationships with the love stories from Chinese ethnic minority groups. This realistic work is one of the very few Chinese gay films set in rural villages. The majestic mountains in Yunnan and the delicate appearance of the two protagonists create an eye-catching yet poignant romance. Moreover, the film is considered by its fans the "most touching gay romance ever.”
The Third Country depicts the story of Lin Qing-yu, a teenager who cannot accept the death of his father, and while traveling from the city to Lijiang villages meets a Nakhi teenager, A-ren, with whom he becomes more than friends. The villagers uncover their affair when they open up to each other and exchange tokens. However, homosexual love is unacceptable among the minorities in remote villages. What should they do?
The Nakhi people in Lijiang believes that when affection contradicts traditional morals, those unable to face reality can exchange their lives for an ideal, livable space. And they call it "The Third Country of Yulong," an earthly paradise. The majestic mountains and the romantic folklore make this love story even more appealing and exquisite. However, the devastating ending is completely heartkbreaking, and you will never be able to forget it. The fans say that, if their love was not recognized, they would also take their partner to the third country.
Besides their impossible love, fans were also worried about the challenges the two young actors had to face during the shooting of The Third Country. Filmed in Lijiang in December, the actors were "drown in the water" in a vicious environment, dealing with a rugged terrain, depressing weather, and the infamous mountain sickness. On the bright side, the director said that thanks to being through all these dangerous scenarios together the characters emanate pure affection to each other.