Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

March 7, 2006

China’s Oscar Censorship

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:26 pm

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but I wonder if anyone in Hollywood cares:

Chinese TV cuts Ang Lee’s speech

The Chinese media praised Taiwan-born Ang Lee for his best director Oscar win but state TV cut part of his speech mentioning China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Lee thanked everyone in all three regions. Beijing regards Taiwan as sovereign territory and Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

“Ang Lee is the pride of Chinese people,” said the China Daily.

Brokeback Mountain will not be released in Chinese cinemas and can only been seen on pirate DVD.

The Chinese government refused to include it on a list of foreign films approved for domestic cinemas, a move that stops just short of an outright ban.

Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper contrasted Lee’s success with China’s controls on popular culture.

“China cannot produce a director like Ang Lee,” it claimed.

The paper praised the US for allowing creative freedom.

It would be nice if Variety would note that as well.

AFTERTHOUGHT (5:24pm): I wonder if the PRC government can really get away with having it both ways on this — bragging that a Chinese director won an Oscar, and at the same time refusing to allow the film to be shown. It may seem odd to many in China that the government will not approve a movie that produced the Oscar they seem to be so proud of.

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