Directors lash film censorship

By Pang Li
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, June 16, 2011
Adjust font size:

Chinese director Jia Zhangke speaks at a forum held on Wednesday in Shanghai. [Pang Li/] 

While talking about making genre movies in China on Wednesday in Shanghai, some well-known film directors explicitly expressed their great disappointment at China's film censorship.

"The only reason that we cannot make genre movies is the barrier that censorship sets," Chinese director Jia Zhangke said.

The well-known director revealed that after his fourth feature movie "Shijie (The World)," he wrote a script about man's sex life. After he submitted the screenplay to the film authority for approval, an official told him that he could not do the project. It may violate the criminal law on spreading pornography, the censor said. Jia bailed on the project.

Jia said that he also conceived an espionage movie about the Communist Party and Kuomintang four to five years ago. He got funding, cast actors and did a lot of research in the mainland and Taiwan. But the project never saw light because of censorship.

"If I want to make the movie here, I have to portray all the communists as superheroes," Jia said. "This would betray my original idea and make it difficulty to develop the story."

"This kind of cultural over-cleanliness that bans the erotic, violent and terrifying is cultural naivety," he added.

Hong Kong director and producer Manfred Wong speaks at a forum held on Wednesday in Shanghai. [Pang Li/] 

If you want to make a crime movie in the mainland, all the cops must be portrayed as good guys and no gunfire sequences are allowed to be filmed in a downtown area, veteran Hong Kong director and producer Manfred Wong said. And if you want to make a romantic movie, you can't show cohabitation before marriage or an affair.

"The biggest problem is not that filmmakers are unwilling to create – they are given little to work with," Wong said.

Wong said what mainland filmmakers really need is a film-rating system. Sadly, the film authority refuses to create one, and the country suffers without an important mechanism that would allow the film industry to grow more quickly.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from