Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Beijing censors `Pirates' film for `vilifying Chinese'

AGENCIES , BEIJING

China has censored part of the latest instalment of hit Hollywood movie Pirates of the Caribbean for "vilifying and defacing the Chinese," the official Xinhua news agency said yesterday.

The role of Hong Kong star Chow Yun-fat (周潤發), who plays pirate lord Sao Feng, had been slashed in half to about 10 minutes of screen time, the report said.

It cited local magazine Popular Cinema as saying: "The captain played by Chow is bald, his face heavily scarred. He also has a 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," Xinhua added.

It quoted Zhang Pimin (張丕民), deputy head of the film bureau of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, as saying the cuts had been 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," said Zhang, declining to provide more details.

Despite the cuts, Zhang said he hoped the film would be an even bigger hit than Spider-Man 3 in China.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has already performed well at the Chinese box office, Xinhua added, earning 1.18 million yuan (US$154,800) on its first day in Shanghai alone.

Censorship on the big screen has little impact in China, where pirated, uncut versions of the latest movies can easily be bought on the street for around US$1.

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