In response to criticism from the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) of The Promise crew's environmental damage at a shooting site in Shangri-La, Yunnan Province, the film crew issued a statement Wednesday, explaining why installations at Bigu Tianchi had not been removed immediately after shooting.
The statement said the crew had paid the local government and left equipment to clean up the location, "however the local government failed to dismantle the construction because of bad weather." In addition, the film crew had reported the issue to the Yunnan Provincial Government several times and the construction had been dismantled during the May Day holiday.
Chen Hong, the film's producer and wife of director Chen Kaige, said: "We feel wronged and misunderstood by the accusation."
The Promise producer and actress Chen Hong
Bigu Tianchi is situated in a mountainous region more than 4,000 meters above sea level in Zhongdian Prefecture. Its clear water is surrounded by virgin forests and grasslands.
Earlier reports accused the production team of trashing the area with large amounts of household garbage, such as meal boxes, wine bottles, plastic bags and raincoats.
The team also drove more than 100 piles into the lake and broke in two a dilapidated wooden bridge that crosses the lake. Filmmakers repeatedly damaged azaleas in a no-cutting area to clear the way for a rough road, the reports said.
(Shenzhen Daily May 12, 2006)