“They are the most hated organization in China.”- A quote from my Chinese manager.
You would think I was talking about the government.
There is rumor that every hour a new movie theatre is being built in China. And I can see why. Movies are a great way to find common ground among Chinese people. Going to movies is still part of the everyday dating scene. It is still a popular pastime for about every Chinese person I’ve talked too. While it’s arguable that the movie going experience is dying elsewhere in the world, it is still alive and kicking over here in China.
While there is an insatiable craving for films among the Chinese population, there is still a scarce amount of films being shown in the theatres. There is a large Chinese committee that has control over all of the screenings that are allowed to be shown in China. And while there are several of American movies that come to China throughout the year, there aren’t as many as you would think. This has caused quite a stink among the Chinese community who are demanding more international films. If there is an obvious demand for movies, why can only a few are shown?
Let me paint a picture for you. Everyone knows the American film “Independence Day”. This film is full of action, drama and aliens. It sounds perfect for a Chinese audience. However, there is one scene in which the President gives a speech and says the following:
“And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night!” We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”
It seems that this speech was a big no-no in the eyes of the movie screening committee. Too many political undertones for Chinese history. This organization has gone on to strictly regulate any other films that could be “dangerous” for the mass population because they wouldn’t want a movie giving the average person the wrong idea. While China is increasingly becoming more involved in the world stage, organizations are balancing the demand for more information from its population while at the same time remaining in power.
So this movie was banned with China along with many others that have come out over the years. However, in recent years, as technology has improved, many films have been edited with edited with scenes taken out but the film is still shown in theatres.
So ladies and gentleman, if you’re visiting China in the near future, I can go ahead and tell you that your options will be “The Hobbit” or “The Chinese Monkey King.”
Now, don’t let this information make you think that you can’t pop down to Yashow Market in Sanlitun to buy your copy of Independence Day, but the sales of these copies are technically illegal in China. However, one day the counterfeit movie store where I buy my DVD’s will be open and the next day it’s closed for “renovation.”