Disney's 'Pirates 3' slashed in China

Updated: 2007-06-15 11:28

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 conditions."

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 box-office."

"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.


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