CPPCC members ask to reform film censorship

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, March 3, 2015
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Two representatives of China's film industry who are members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference said on Monday that Chinese film censorship should be revisited and reformed.

Wang Xingdong, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and vice chairman of China Film Association, said that at this year's session he will propose to speed up legislation on the film industry and will ask governments at various levels to create a legal framework for film censorship rights.

"If you look back on all Chinese films over the years, the films were always under the supervision and administration of the government," Wang said, "A film's fate even depends on a leader's personal tastes. Some movies will be prevented from being shown and distributed if some leaders or other government departments don't like them, even though the films have passed the censorship committee's examination. This is the rule of individuals, and it is interference."

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television oversees the content of all Chinese films and TV dramas.

"In the campaign to push forward the rule of law, the Communist Party's administration of arts sectors should also be guided by the rule of law," Wang said. "All Party organizations and leaders and officials should abide by the Constitution and laws and should not allow their personal opinions and powers to take the place of laws."

Director Yin Li, another member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also said that China's film censorship system should be improved.

"There's a misunderstanding right now, which says that censorship takes the place of film rating," he said. "Some people have even thought that shooting X-rated movies will be possible if China has its own rating system. That's not true. The rating system exists to protect children from explicit and horrifying scenes, preventing parents from bringing their children to inappropriate screenings at theaters.”

Yin said that although the Chinese film market has boomed in recent years, the industry's development is unbalanced and has many shortcomings and risks. He argued that the Chinese film industry should speed up the process of placing everything from film production to theater chain management under the rule of law.

Wang Xingdong and Yin Li will both attend the third annual session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, which is set to open on Tuesday.

A draft of the Film Industry Promotion Law was revealed in 2011 by the State Council and was submitted for public comments and suggestions. The National People's Congress also published a legislation plan for the next five years in October 2013 that includes the Film Industry Promotion Law. However, the legislation is still being debated after four years.

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