1664752634 In China censorship always has the last word in the

In China, censorship always has the last word in the cinema

The Avenue of Stars along the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong, China, 31 January 2014. Avenue of Stars, along the seafront in Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong (China), January 31, 2014. FREDERIC SOREAU/PHOTONONSTOP

Traditionally, every Chinese has at least three weeks vacation a year. One on the occasion of the national holiday on October 1st and two during the Lunar New Year. Being able to release a film on one of these dates gives a filmmaker the virtual certainty of attracting tens of millions of viewers. But in Xi Jinping’s China, censorship has the last word, especially on the eve of the Communist Party Congress. The films that may or may not be shown on Chinese screens this week provide the (sad) demonstration of that.

Four feature films hitting theaters on September 30 are set to draw crowds this year. The first, Home Coming, is an action film that honors two Chinese diplomats who risked their lives to evacuate 125 compatriots held by evil rebels in an Arab country in the grip of a civil war.

The second, Ordinary Hero, takes place in Xinjiang. He tells how a Uyghur child suffering from a serious illness is saved thanks to the mobilization of police officers, doctors, passengers and the crew of an airplane who actually appear to be of Chinese descent. “A true story,” claims the trailer. A very nice story, which of course should make us forget the criticism of the West and the UN of the “crimes against humanity” to which the Uyghurs in this Chinese province fall victim.

Modified ending

The third film, Steel Will, tells in epic form the founding of a steel mill in Northeast China in the 1950s and of course its brilliant development. “The film also highlights the role of steel production in New China’s infrastructure and for the Chinese armed forces in the war against US aggression and aid to Korea (1950-1953),” specifies the China Daily, the Communist Party newspaper, enthusiastically of China.

Xi Jinping is reining in the show business industry and demanding that stars have impeccable personal lives

A fourth film, Born to Fly, should have eclipsed its three rivals. Finally, China held its Top Gun. Tom Cruise better watch out! As of September 26, 30 million Chinese had pre-purchased a ticket. Unfortunately, Born to Fly is unable to take off due to a “technical issue” discovered on September 26th. Which problem ? Chinese netizens lose themselves in guesswork. Most likely, the censors recalled that one of the film’s two pilots, Hu Jun, took advantage of his young physique to sell financial products for the first time in 2020, which turned out to be fraudulent. While Xi Jinping reins in the show business industry and demands an impeccable personal life from stars, Born to Fly is undoubtedly a victim of the campaign waged against Hu Jun by ruined Chinese.

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