CHINA / National

Filming said to trash Shangari-La lake
By Jiang Xuezhou (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-05-15 06:15

Preliminary investigation has shown that the filming of Chen Kaige's "The Promise" in a remote part of Southwest China's Yunnan Province "influenced and damaged" the area around Bigu Tianchi lake, the provincial environment watchdog said over the weekend.

The crew of the movie may also have broken the law as they did not submit an environmental impact report to the local department prior to constructing the set, said Zhu Xingxiang, an official with the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) over the weekend.

SEPA, which is seeking amendments to the current law on environmental assessment, also hopes to add articles on the administration of movie and TV-filming at scenic spots, he said.

The current law carries no stipulations on film shooting at scenic spots, said Zhu, adding that the scale of the artificial set of "The Promise" was the size of a construction project that would have needed an environmental assessment in advance.

Data indicated that the concrete structure cost more than 2 million yuan (US$246,600), reports said.

Preliminary investigations showed that the crew built a reinforced concrete structure and a 300-to-400 metre-long road, and also cut dozens of square metres of azalea flowers, said Zhu. The bureau will release the results of the investigation soon, said the official.

Waste and wooden posts have been moved away from the site, along with the concrete structure, but the sand and the road are still there, and the flowers have not been replanted.

"The pristine conditions are hard to restore, even after all the clean-up efforts have been completed," said Zhu. Reports said the filming work at Bigu Tianchi ended in October 2004, but the clean-up efforts did not start until last month.