採訪/李韻 編輯/尚燕 後製/黎安安
Chinese Censorship Hinders Filmmakers
On October 2, Chinese director Lou Ye’s film
‘Myth on the Floating City’ won 7 nominations at the Taiwan Golden Horse Film Festival.
However, in mainland China, the film had a difficult
battle against censorship, and barely managed to maintain it’s public screening date.
Lou Ye was forced to remove his name from the cast roll.
This reflects the real difficulty that Chinese film makers
are facing now under the current censorship system.
‘Myth on the Floating City’is a film based on real events,
telling the story of a man who entered into out of marriage
affairs, and suffered a car accident.
AFP reports stated Chinese authorities were not satisfied
with the film, because it touched some sensitive issues.
These included corruption of Chinese police officers,
and the behavior of China’s new wealthy class.
HongKong Writer Zhang Chengjue said the film
showcases the corruption of Chinese police.
This will naturally trigger a battle between
the director and the Chinese authorities.
Zhang Chengjue: “The film maker made his observation.
He is courageous in choosing such a topic.
From the point of view of the authorities,
it is certain they will stop this.
They always say that police are ‘a strong pillar
of the dictatorship of the proletariat’.
Police are a tool in maintaining power,
so they will protect their tools."
The film was under censorship for 5 months.
At its premier at Cannes Film Festival,
the film was marked with a ‘dragon seal".
This showed that it had been approved
for public screening in China.
It was announced that they will go public on October 19.
However, 41 days before the public screening, Chinese
authorities asked director Lou Ye to change certain content.
This request was rejected by the filmmaker.
Lou also published all the censorship
information on his personal micro-blog.
In the end, the two parties reached a compromise.
Lou agreed that he will technically fade out
the ending 3 seconds of the film.
Authorities then allowed him to do a public screening.
However, Lou announced on his personal micro-blog
that he made an unprecedented decision in film history.
This was to cancel the director’s name
from the credits of the revised film.
One can only wonder how hard it would be for the director
to make the film he wants to make under current censorship.
Independent Beijing producer Yang Weidong had similar
experiences, when he started his movie ‘Need’in 2008.
He planned to interview 500 of the most influential
scholars and politicians,
making them answer a number of questions,
and recording their view on basic values.
Yang Weidong: “I was censored for 2 years.
My computer was confiscated and my
tapes also. No result whatsoever."
Authorities not only postponed indefinitely
the censoring time of his movie script.
They also sent secret agents to follow him
and tapped his telephone conversations.
He was also told that he was not allowed to leave China.
Yang Weidong:"They said that I interviewed
many sensitive people,
claiming that my interviews would affect the stability
of the country. They didn’t have any standards.
Whenever it touches their interests,
they would say it is sensitive.
They turned me into a sensitive person, labeling
me as affecting the stability of the country."
『Myth on the Floating City’is the only Chinese movie
that won nominations at the 65th Cannes Film Festival.
Compared with the situation inside China,
it has been sold in more than 10 countries now.
Lou Ye wrote on his micro-blog, don’t be afraid
of the movie. It is not so horrible, not so important.
If a state power felt threatened by a movie, it is not because
the movie is too strong, but because they are too weak.