Treut does a superb job of making the lesbian relationships normal and without issues surrounding sexuality in Ghosted. There’s only a brief mention of Ai-Ling’s not being out to her family, as she refers to Sophie as her landlady. Ai-Ling’s family is not that naive, but they don’t seem to care about her sexual orientation.
Mei-Li (Ting-Ting Hu) and Sophie (Inga Busch)
The mystery unfolds slowly, with the struggle for Ai-Ling and Sophie to understand one another adding to some of the confusion but also coming off as quite adorable. Sophie’s skepticism of Mei-Li is played well, with the audience shown that Mei-Li’s intentions are obviously more than just an interest in Sophie and her work — she wants to know about Ai-Ling’s death, but no one seems to have the information she’s looking for.
Viewers are also left wanting — the build-up of the mystery comes to a climax, and then abruptly ends with many questions left unanswered.
The theme of Ghosted, and even its title, implies that there is a strong spiritual aspect to the story and Treut aims to show the Taiwanese culture’s idea of (without spoiling too much) the afterlife.
Mei-Li (Ting-Ting Hu)
Those interested in seeing cultural aspects of Taiwan and Hamburg will be pleased with the scenery, as well as the intriguing conversations between Sophie and Ai-Ling as they attempt to figure each other out.
Their relationship seems genuine, and both Ke and Busch act flawlessly. But Hu overacts at times, which is somewhat distracting when you’re already trying to figure out what her character is really up to.
Though the supernatural aspect could be played up more versus the subplot of Ai-Ling’s family history, Ghosted is, overall, an interesting thriller with a positive representation of lesbian relationships.
The character of Mei-Lei could have been presented as a stereotypical stalker, like lesbians have been in so many other films (i.e. Notes on a Scandal), but instead the film focuses on the mystery Mei-Lei is trying to solve — and on why she’s more interested in the deceased Ai-Ling, than the artist she’s actually sleeping with.
Ghosted is available in English, German and Mandarin with English subtitles, and is currently playing at LGBT film festivals around the world. Find out more by visiting ghosted-film.de.