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China bans horror movies
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The rating debate

Professor Shi Chuan, of Shanghai University's film studies department, says the blanket ban is a makeshift policy of "treating the symptoms rather than curing the disease".

"The GAPP means well, but it acted in an abrupt administrative method, which will surely damage the market, and even the gloomy horror-movie industry in China."

An effective approach, in Shi's opinion, is to introduce a film-rating system. "In this way, adults have the right to choose their favorite films, and minors are guaranteed the necessary protection."

The issue of film rating in China has been an issue since the 1980s and was heatedly discussed in the media around 2003. The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television maintains a decades-old stance that "Films unsuitable for children are unsuitable for adults too". The authorities have given no clear indication of how they stand on the issue, and the inaction could be self-defeating in the battle against piracy, warns Shi.

"I question the actual function of the ban. I'm afraid that Chinese audiences will simply buy pirate videos."

(Xinhua News Agency March 25, 2008)

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