Chinese Censorship Opponents Speaking Out
Opposition to China's film censorship rules is mounting in China, and a state-owned online news service is giving it an unprecedented voice. The English-language version of China.org.cn today (Wednesday) quoted a professor at Shanghai University's school of film & TV arts and technology, as calling for new norms for movie censors to follow following their removal of scenes in Skyfall, which opened on Monday, including one in which a Chinese guard is shot by a French hitman. In another, the Chinese subtitles were changed in a scene where Bond asks a woman being forced into prostitution. Movie regulators should respect the producers' original ideas, said Professor Shi Chuan, rather than chopping scenes arbitrarily. However, in what appeared to be a bid to soften his criticism so as not to nettle authorities, Shi said that movies should continue to be censored so as to conform with local laws and respect local culture and tradition. In its report, however, China.org.cn observed that last year, Yin Li, vice chairman of the China Film Association, remarked that Chinese filmmakers face too many restrictions. I hope China can offer more freedom to film-makers so that a more favorable environment can be created for the country's movie industry, Yin was quoted as saying. The report follows by one day another story on the website about the wholesale removal of 39 minutes from Cloud Atlas, which quoted co-producer/director Lana Wachowsky as saying that such censorship sucks and noting that the full version can be accessed online via pirate websites.