BEIJING -- Chinese movie star Chow Yun-Fat's role
in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" has been slashed in half by
censors in China for vilifying and defacing the Chinese.
The film which was released on the mainland early this week shows only about
10 minutes of Chow's scenes while in the Hollywood version his scenes take up
about 20 minutes of the film.
One of the scenes that was cut involved Captain Sao Feng reciting a famous
Chinese poem to the heroine who he falls in love with at first sight.
Zhang Pimin, deputy head of the film bureau under the State Administration of
Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), told Xinhua in a telephone interview on
Friday that the decision to cut Chow's and other scenes was made according to
the country's "relevant regulations on film censorship" and "China's actual
The cuts "will not impair either the continuity of plot or the image of
characters," added Zhang, who refused to provide specific reasons for the cuts.
Chinese actor Chou Yun-Fat's appearance in the movie "Pirates
of the Caribbean: At World's End". [moviesoon.com]
The Popular Cinema, a nationally circulated magazine, however, gave a clue.
"The captain starred by Chow is bald, his face heavily scarred, he also wears
long beard and long nails, whose image is still in line with Hollywood's old
tradition of demonizing the Chinese."
Chinese censors also cut Chow's line in which he states "Welcome to
Singapore" because it hints Singapore is a land of pirates and has already
attracted protests from Singaporean people.
The magazine said that this has not been the first time that Hollywood has
aroused protests from other countries for its unacceptable depiction of local
people. Mexico and France have even once issued bans on offensive US movies from
screening in domestic cinemas.
"The Hollywood is increasingly relying on international box offices for
profits because its domestic market has been oversaturated, so it's very natural
for major studios to hire famed international actors to lure foreign audiences,"
the magazine said. In 2005, US movies garnered 8.99 billion US dollars in
domestic market, but 14.25 billion US dollars in the international market.
"But its lack of understanding of local cultures has been a constant source
of disputes across the world," it added.
The cut actually have some effects on the part of audiences in China, who
have to struggle to follow the plot.
"The cut has made the plot and the role of Captain Sao Feng difficult to
understand," said a viewer You Hui. Many viewers also expressed similar opinions
on the Internet.
Chow has starred in "Curse of the Golden Flower", "Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon" and "Anna and the King."
But the authorities insists the movie has been well received in China anyway.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" has been well received by the
Chinese movie-goers since its release, according to Zhang, deputy director of
the SARFT. "It is hoped that 'Pirates' will beat 'Spider-Man 3' at the
"Pirates" raked in 1.18 million yuan (153,000 US dollars) on the first day of
its release in Shanghai.
"Spider-Man 3", released on May 2 on China's mainland, has raked in more than
100 million yuan (12.99 million US dollars), topping China's domestic movie box
office so far this year.