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Makers of banned film face further film restrictions in China    2008-01-04 07:13:12    

Lost in Beijing director Li Yu, speaking with Deutsch Presse- Agentur dpa, criticized the SARFT action, calling it an act of "injustice."
Beijing (dpa) ­ China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) on Friday once again banned the controversial film Lost in Beijing as well as instructed the company behind the film not to make new films, accusing the company of using "pornographic" scenes for that movie as advertisements.

Lost in Beijing director Li Yu, speaking with Deutsch Presse- Agentur dpa, criticized the SARFT action, calling it an act of "injustice."

She said her production firm Beijing Laurels Films had made absolutely no advertising, as the censorship authorities only allowed the expurgated film to be released without ads.

Li explained that the offending scenes appeared on the internet via pirated copies of the film, "because the Chinese media had an great interest in it. SARFT punish the filmmakers, but the people who pirated our film and spread these scenes."

In light of the agreed-upon advertising ban, Li said "we would have been stupid indeed if we ourselves made ads with these scenes," adding that her worry now is that her screenplay for a new film "will be seen with different eyes" by the censors.

The film Lost in Beijing, originally banned for its negative depiction of Beijing, is a social drama highly critical of modern Chinese life in thrall to capitalism.

Ten minutes of the original film (including a scene depicting a boss raping the lead actress) were edited out for exhibition.

Li has called for a general classification of Chinese films by age group to protect children, "but we could not withhold from adults the right to see such a film."

According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the censorship board ordered all exhibitors to again remove Lost in Beijing from their programmes.

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