March 30, 2006
Written by C.N.
Even though Hong Kong is technically a part of China these days, in many ways, the two lands remain separated from each other. One area in which that is plain to see is in regard to how many movies that are box office hits in Hong Kong are never shown in China:
Supernatural films are a staple genre in the Hong Kong cinedrome. One recent success is The Eye, from Hong Kong-based Applause Pictures. The film – about a cornea-transplant patient and her eerie post-surgery visions – was a smash hit at the Hong Kong box office, and remake rights have been purchased by Hollywood’s Cruise/Wagner Productions.
But don’t search for The Eye at Beijing cineplexes any time soon. Despite decades of economic and social reform, the mainland maintains a cinematic nix-list: nudity, homosexuality, extramarital affairs and supernatural themes all remain verboten.
Why is Beijing so concerned about ghosts and goblins? Politically, secret societies based on arcane beliefs have posed threats to China’s power structure for centuries. Socially, the shift toward a modern culture has motivated Beijing to create a list of “approved” religions and conveniently prohibit all else.
So in this case, China wants to ban anything that even hints at traditional beliefs and instead, wants to promote “modernity” and “progress.” Apparently “modernity” and “progress” include censorship, human rights abuses, prohibiting freedom of expression, no freedom of religion, corruption, and a totalitarian regime firmly opposed to democracy.
Yeah, sounds like real progress to me . . .
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Hong Kong Movies Banned in China" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2006/03/hong-kong-movies-banned-in-china/> ().
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