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China Daily Website

Film censorship should be reformed

Updated: 2013-01-28 22:24
( chinadaily.com.cn)

Some Hollywood blockbusters shown in Chinese mainland cinemas are much shorter than their original versions because the film authority of China deletes scenes for censorship reasons. China should replace this censorship system with a film rating system, says an article of the 21st Century Business Herald. Excerpts:

Every country has its own form of censorship. But the film rating system, a kind of censorship itself, is much more rational than China's current censorship system, which mainly depends on individual officials' personal judgment.

Exercising censorship is to protect young people from film contents that are suitable only for adults, and ensure a film's content will not conflict with the local culture, religion, social conventions or threaten social or political stability.

Censorship is necessary, but how do we evaluate the rationality of the decisions made by the censor officials?

Frankly speaking, the censorship has restricted Chinese filmmakers' artistic innovation, so they resort to Chinese history to tell old, well-known stories, but dare not touch on meaningful topics for today's China.

Chinese cultural and film administration departments would like to build a prosperous cultural market and industry. But the censorship enforced on them conflicts with their objectives.

The growing numbers at China's box offices means China has a huge film market. But it does not mean China has a healthy film market. China's film administration authority should reflect on the censorship system's negative influences on the industry's development.