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Censorship Movies

2-D Avatar To Be Pulled From Theaters In China 344

Posted by kdawson
from the hard-to-be-blue dept.
SimonTheSoundMan notes that Avatar is being pulled from screens in China for being too successful, and too provocative in its anti-authoritarian message. (The 3-D and IMAX versions will remain.) "The communist nation's state-run movie distributor China Film Group is unexpectedly yanking the James Cameron-directed blockbuster Avatar from 1,628 2-D screens this week in favor of a biography of the ancient philosopher Confucius starring Chow-Yun Fat. ... According to a report in the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, the move was made at the urging of propaganda officials who are concerned that Avatar is taking too much market share from Chinese films and drawing unwanted attention to the sensitive issue of forced evictions."
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2-D Avatar To Be Pulled From Theaters In China

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  • Error (Score:2, Informative)

    by Silm (1135973)
    It might be wise for editors to check the link before placing a story - just a suggestion of course.
  • Your link is broken. You added an extra h to the front. Potentially for hyperbole? I don't know, I'm not a computer geek.

    • by kclittle (625128)
      Hidden Hypertext Transfer Protocol?
      Hyperbole Hypertext Transfer Protocol?
      Hardly Hypertext Transfer Protocol?
    • Not only that, but even if you fix the double h and put the requisite slashes after the colon, you get this [latimesblo...rnmenthtml] [warning, link doesn't work]. So you think, "oh I see, they forgot to put the dot in between 'government' and 'html'!" It is then that you realize the url has no slashes or periods at all.

      For everyone's hilarious enjoyment, here is the full text of the broken url

      hhttp:latimesblogslatimescomentertainmentnewsbuzz201001avatar-pulled-from-2d-screens-by-chinese-governmenthtml

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by xOneca (1271886)
        How can a correct URL become that "thing"? The initial "h" may be a misspelling, but who has removed all slashes and dots!?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          slashdot of course. It eats slashes and dots.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:49PM (#30825888)

    This just means it'll spread all the more fervently via sneakernet. That we're doing business with this government while calling Cuba an international pariah is all the more disgusting. Maybe if the Cubans had oil or massive quantities of cheap labor rather than cigars and a nice view....

    • by zblack_eagle (971870) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:23PM (#30826276)

      I thought that the Cuban export of importance to the US was a large vocal population of disenfranchised Cuban expats in a swing state

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stoolpigeon (454276) *

        that's pretty much the difference. when people talk about US/Cuba relations without acknowledging it, it's pretty safe to assume they don't really know anything about the situation.

    • Actually the Chinese are prospecting for oil in Cuba at the moment.
    • Cuba vs China (Score:5, Insightful)

      by copponex (13876) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:34PM (#30826392) Homepage

      Cuba is small and within our sphere of influence. Therefore, it can be abused as much as we like, maligned, embargoed, scapegoated, and even invaded. After we tried to turn it into a puppet state, the local population revolted and threw us out. It continues to remain a symbol of successful resistance to American control. (Critics will point to it's economic failures, which have almost everything to do with the results of our desire to crush it.)

      The West tried to the same intervention in China, and the result was the Boxer Rebellion. If China were smaller and closer to the United States, there would be no difference in the way they are treated. Now China has money and a manufacturing sector, so they are "worthy" of being dealt with. So much so that even the hardline nationalists don't dare to insult China and publicly restate their support of a "One China" policy, so when Beijing absorbs Taiwan, America will be able to save some face.

      Decades later we are still somehow surprised by the ferocity of indigenous revolt to foreign rule. Though we can turn to romance when it's our ancestors who are doing the revolting. [wikipedia.org]

      Twas hard the woeful words to frame
      To break the ties that bound us
      But harder still to bear the shame
      Of foreign chains around us
      And so I said, "The mountain glen
      I'll seek at morning early
      And join the bold United Men
      While soft winds shake the barley"

    • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:34PM (#30826396)
      But it's not even out of theaters in China; they're still running the 3d version on 900 screens. I think what China is defending is national pride, trying to artificially level out the success of foreign vs. domestic films, and preserving the traditional Chinese identity.

      As for Cuba, I guess it's the same thing on our part. Our pride can't tolerate Cuba's defiance. Look at Vietnam, and how long that dragged on even though the outcome was more or less certain, because each President knew the American people would hate a "loser" President. Quite a few people consider national pride alone enough of a reason to keep sending people to their deaths, rationalizing that weakness invites aggression.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Wilson_6500 (896824)
        Perhaps the IMAX version is more expensive, thus limiting the movie's message to the people presumably less receptive to it?
    • by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @08:42PM (#30826946)
      What Cuba has is SUGAR far below the artificial price in the US. With the 1960 embargo, we lost one third of our sugar supply, and someone makes big bucks filling that void. Along with citrus and tropical fruit, this makes a seriously large campaign contribution source for incumbents that are willing to keep this potential new source of products shut down.

      If we wanted Castro to fall, all we had to do was allow American money to have effect on Cuban agriculture. It is a hard thing to sit by and watch wealth being created and have no part of it (except for being the stoop labor, of course). The problem with HAVING peons is keeping them from finding out that something better exists... once they know they start doing crazy stuff like going to sea on an inner-tube. If enough of them are aware, then they burn the palace.

      It's a moot point because nothing will happen with Cuba until Imperial Sugar, ADM, C&H, Dole, Chiquita, Sunkist, et al have some kind of a market lock in place... after all, that's what they paid for.
  • Piracy (Score:5, Funny)

    by BiggoronSword (1135013) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:49PM (#30825896) Homepage Journal
    Well this is just going to increase the amount of piracy in China. Which of course will piss off the US and the MPAA even more. Great job China!
    • Wait - you say that like pissing off (or on) the US and the MPAA is a "BAD THING". I don't see it, myself.

      • Re:Piracy (Score:5, Interesting)

        by fractoid (1076465) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @09:44PM (#30827378) Homepage

        Wait - you say that like pissing off (or on) the US and the MPAA is a "BAD THING". I don't see it, myself.

        You don't? Because I do. Chances are a large percentage of your technology and your modern culture come from the U.S. No matter how trendy it is to hate them for being large, somewhat insular and comfortably well-off, you can't deny that the U.S. contributes a lot to the rest of the world. And no, I'm not from the states - I just hate the hypocrisy of people who eagerly download movies made with MPAA money while badmouthing all that is American in some vain attempt to appear 'cultured'.

  • This just validates that Avatar has any kind of noteworthy message that we haven't heard before.
  • 3d (Score:5, Funny)

    by blackraven14250 (902843) * on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:51PM (#30825922)
    So the extra D in 3D is "dictatorship"?
  • by xzvf (924443) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:52PM (#30825936)
    Maybe the PRC government did it at the request of the MPAA to cut down on piracy? You can't video tape a 3D movie from your seat. Seriously, when are corporations going to realize that the PRC is an oppressive government and no matter how much they let Wal-Mart grow, or let us feed them KFC, or build our toys for us, we are not making them more free? They are playing capitalist so they don't go the way of the Soviet Union, but if you threaten their leadership, they will shut you down.
    • by merreborn (853723)

      You can't video tape a 3D movie from your seat

      I wonder, could you? If you broke the polarizing glasses they give you in two, and put one lens over each of two cameras, mounted a specific distance apart?

      I suppose maybe the result might be too lossy to achieve a workable 3d effect. And of course, projecting the resulting recordings would have its own challenges.

      • by DJ Rubbie (621940)

        Why would you need to place cameras some specific distance apart to record what is essentially two constant stream of frames?

        It's relatively trivial to replay the capture, all that is required are two projectors with a polarizing filter over each lenses turned in a way that so that it would work with the users' polarized glasses. Then synchronize the two streams temporally and spatially onto the screen (and play it out of the correct projector), and enjoy your 3D movie.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by TBoon (1381891)

          It's relatively trivial to replay the capture, [...] synchronize the two streams

          That "synchronize" bit might seem simple in theory, but frame-accurate playback-sync of two streams on consumer-priced equipment (that stays in sync for a whole movie) seems a bit too complicated for the average consumer of pirated entertainment... (And having even a single projector probably isn't nearly as common in PRC as in slashdotters domiciles...)

    • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:55PM (#30826590) Journal

      Seriously, when are corporations going to realize that the PRC is an oppressive government and no matter how much they let Wal-Mart grow, or let us feed them KFC, or build our toys for us, we are not making them more free?

      Corporations know that. They also know that China is where they make money. Try explaining to someone that they're doing something wrong when they're paid well to do what they're doing. Doesn't work.

      More to the point, corporations *like* China. It is an entire country run as a corporation: a corporation with laws and guns to enforce its profit margins. Individual corporations don't like China so much when their interests collide with China's interests and they get mangled, but right up to that point it's a fabulous situation for them. It's like being the henchman of the schoolyard bully. If you can't be the bully, the henchman is definitely the next-best option.

    • Put one lens of the 3d glasses over your cam, and bingo. Ok, so you end up with one of two subtly-different rips, but meh.

    • The movie's been out for weeks. I'm sure there's a copy or two on the web...

    • by lymond01 (314120)

      You can't video tape a 3D movie from your seat.

      Of course you can. Don't be ridiculous. The watching from the video tape is the problem.

    • Maybe the PRC government did it at the request of the MPAA to cut down on piracy?

      Do you realize how stupid that sounds?

    • by Dan East (318230)

      That's silly. How many times must a movie play on 1,628 screens before it can be captured? One time on one screen is all it takes. Trying to link this with the MPAA is absolutely ridiculous. Do you know how much money the producer, distributor, and MPAA looses when people can't pay to watch a movie on that many screens? A hell of a lot of money.

  • This seems stupid. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:54PM (#30825964) Journal
    My though was the same during the burst of "OMG, Avatar hates American and the Marines!!!!" sentiment.

    Avatar is a fairly simplistic (but very well animated) tale of the good guys and the bad guys. Even if the direction hadn't been so heavy handed, the good guys would have been obviously in the right and the bad guys obviously in the wrong. One side was on the other's planet, busy machine-gunning them for their resources. They didn't even have a sincere-to-them-but-monstrous-in-retrospect motive along the "saving the heathens' souls" lines.

    Given that, asserting that "OMG, Avatar hates China" or "OMG, Avatar hates America" is basically equivalent to saying "OMG, the policies of the national entity I support could plausibly be seen as being allegorically represented by the cartoonishly evil bad guys in this sci-fi movie!". Why would you admit something like that? Why not just say "Eh, nice pictures, should keep the kids happy, pity the plot was shallower than a wading pool" and keep conversation from drifting in unfortunate directions?
    • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:03PM (#30826062) Journal

      Because, shallow simplistic plots are sometimes necessary for shallow simplistic leadership to see themselves in the mirror. Even the leadership that thinks themselves so special and smarter than the rest of us.

      A movie like Avatar can help people form more complex thoughts and ideas, such as respecting people's "religious" views even if you think they are silly.

      • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:35PM (#30826404) Homepage Journal

        A movie like Avatar can help people form more complex thoughts and ideas, such as respecting people's "religious" views even if you think they are silly.

        The Na'vi would be a lot less lovable if they strapped suicide vests on their women and children and sent them toward the nearest Terran checkpoint.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:55PM (#30826596)

          The Na'vi would be a lot less lovable if they strapped suicide vests on their women and children and sent them toward the nearest Terran checkpoint.

          Oppress them for long enough and they might yet get desperate enough to do it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Just like the indians in our past weren't called savages until they lost the military backing of Britain.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:58PM (#30826620)

        A movie like Avatar can help people form more complex thoughts and ideas, such as respecting people's "religious" views even if you think they are silly.

        It's one thing to respect religious views and opinions.
        It's another thing entirely to respect the retarded public policy conclusions that they lead to.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ScentCone (795499)
        such as respecting people's "religious" views even if you think they are silly

        Why would a movie like Avatar help anyone respect religion? The Na'vi culture, as portrayed, is based on an actual, tangible, real aspect of their biology and their environment. So, it's not religious for them to speak in terms of their interconnectedness, etc., because it's real. This, as opposed to real-life religions here on earth, which are based on magical thinking, childish fantasy, and mostly on people who want social po
    • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:12PM (#30826152)

      I just considered it a movie. No more. There are a lot of people drawing parallels between the RDA and $group_in_authority and the Na'vi and $persecuted_group. However, I'm sure with any popular movie which isn't using the same stale IP as before, this could be put into place. People alluded the Empire in Star Wars to groups in real life when that debuted.

      "Avatar" is a movie, a piece of sci-fi. No more. The RDA doesn't symbolize US marines any more than the UAC space marines in Doom: The Movie.

      To me, I was more puzzled by how a race of hunter/gatherers have absolutely perfect teeth to a person, than seeing that fictional sides in a sci fi movie related to real life groups.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by merreborn (853723)

        I just considered it a movie. No more. There are a lot of people drawing parallels between the RDA and $group_in_authority and the Na'vi and $persecuted_group. However, I'm sure with any popular movie which isn't using the same stale IP as before, this could be put into place. People alluded the Empire in Star Wars to groups in real life when that debuted.

        Yeah, I never understood why people compared star wars to WWII. I mean, sure, the "bad guys'" troops are called storm troopers [wikipedia.org], and Darth Vader orders ac

      • by dangitman (862676)

        To me, I was more puzzled by how a race of hunter/gatherers have absolutely perfect teeth to a person,

        That's a very odd thing to be puzzled about. Presumably, being in harmony with nature, they have a very good diet and look after their bodies. Do you also wonder why animals have such good teeth, even though they don't have toothbrushes?

      • Every kid of a certain age who has seen "Avatar" correctly notes that it's a mash-up of "Fern Gully" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104254/ [imdb.com] and the Disney version of "Pocahontas" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114148/ [imdb.com].

        The plot of Avatar is hardly new. It was an entertaining movie, but let's not pretend any of this was a new idea.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MaWeiTao (908546)

      I don't think anyone was suggesting that Avatar symbolized hatred for any nation. Rather the discussion dealt with Avatars simplistic criticism of technology and embrace of the unrealistic noble savage.

      Although China is a lot closer to how humans are depicted in Avatar than America is I don't think their problem is with the core message of the movie. Rather, the Chinese government and indeed many Chinese citizens have problems with entertainment where individuals rise up against the establishment. It probab

      • by Toonol (1057698)
        I don't think anyone was suggesting that Avatar symbolized hatred for any nation. Rather the discussion dealt with Avatars simplistic criticism of technology and embrace of the unrealistic noble savage.

        It's rather simplistic to think that was the message of Avatar. Notice how EVERY scientist was portrayed as noble, and how the hero was an ex-marine (and proud of it). The villains were corporate and mercenary slimes.
        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          Yeah I don't know how people keep getting an "anti-technology" theme from Avatar when science and technology unequivocally saved the day, and the scientists were the good guys without ever abandoning science or technology.

          It's not like Avatar was a complex movie, but I guess some people, thinking they already knew everything about it, decided to simplify it even further in their heads.

      • by dangitman (862676)

        I don't think anyone was suggesting that Avatar symbolized hatred for any nation.

        I think you'll find that there were and are people suggesting exactly that. Hell, even the Vatican made a crazy public statement (although it was not about hating a particular nation, but rather about not endorsing the correct religious model).

    • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:20PM (#30826252)

      The summary is wrong. The article states that there are two quotas at work for all movies: how long they are shown in theaters, and how many foreign movies are allowed to be shown over the course of a year. Avatar stayed on screen for the normal time-period in 2D theaters, and is allowed to exceed the normal runtime in 3D theaters. In other words, the Hong Kong daily made some assumptions about why Avatar didn't exceed the normal runtime for foreign movies. The assumptions might be correct, but are unsupported by anything uttered by officials so far.

    • It seems to me that Avatar is a pretty straightforward telling of why mercantilism never really works out like it is supposed to. It takes huge amount of resources for a nation to occupy another nation and subdue it so that it can plunder the resources.

      You would think people would know this story pretty well by now, but then again, people still fall for Marxism.

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:45PM (#30826498) Journal
      It is a bit more nuanced than that: no one is thinking that Avatar hates China, the fact is, as a side theme, Avatar features forced eviction. It wasn't Cameron's primary idea to attack eminent domain, but a lot of Chinese have latched onto it because eminent domain is a serious problem in China right now. The government has forced a lot of people to move, because of all the development that's been going on. Here is a picture [wikipedia.org] of one awesome example.

      Because most of the people are opposed to developer's actions in such cases, it has created a rift between the government and the people. The government has required all news organizations to stop reporting on eminent domain cases, and now here is a movie that features forced eviction, and shows how to fight against it. People in China have latched on to that theme.
    • by Rakarra (112805) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:52PM (#30826560)

      Avatar is a fairly simplistic (but very well animated) tale of the good guys and the bad guys. Even if the direction hadn't been so heavy handed, the good guys would have been obviously in the right and the bad guys obviously in the wrong. One side was on the other's planet, busy machine-gunning them for their resources. They didn't even have a sincere-to-them-but-monstrous-in-retrospect motive along the "saving the heathens' souls" lines.

      It started out being more sympathetic than it ended up. Specifically, the idea at the start of the movie was "if we give them enough of [something they want], they'll agree to relocate peacefully, we mine the minerals, everyone is happy." The Avatar program was started to find out what [something they want] was. So.. it started out positive and it turned into warfare when the Avatars figured out there really was nothing they could give the Na'vi so they would agree to move. So then the statement became: "If we give them enough of [bombing their asses], they'll agree to relocate." The military even started out in an almost-humane method: use tear gas to get the natives to leave the area while it was cleared. Then, no tree = no home = no reason for the natives to stick around.

  • Puzzling (Score:5, Funny)

    by pmontra (738736) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:56PM (#30825986) Homepage
    The 2D version is "too provocative in its anti-authoritarian message" and draws "attention to the sensitive issue of forced evictions" but the 3D and IMAX versions are ok? And censors realized it one week after they approved the movie and a lot of people already watched it? I'm puzzled. Instead could that be a not-too-harsh message to the USA and the world after last week Google affair?
    • Re:Puzzling (Score:5, Funny)

      by Robin47 (1379745) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:02PM (#30826046)
      The message only affects people that lack depth perception.
    • 3D version (Score:5, Funny)

      by jolyonr (560227) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:05PM (#30826080) Homepage

      "In a follow-up statement, the China Film Group explained that they could not ban the 3D version of Avatar because it was 'too fucking awesome'. They also explained that they were re-shooting the Biopic of Confucious in 3D, and in this 3D version, Chow Yun Fat plays the title role as a 12-foot smurf."

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by igadget78 (1698420)

      The 2D version is "too provocative in its anti-authoritarian message" and draws "attention to the sensitive issue of forced evictions" but the 3D and IMAX versions are ok? And censors realized it one week after they approved the movie and a lot of people already watched it? I'm puzzled. Instead could that be a not-too-harsh message to the USA and the world after last week Google affair?

      They only took the 2D version out of the Theatres because its already been uploaded to the Google Servers via the ie6 vulnerability.

    • China has almost 1 billion peasants. Peasants are poor simple traditional people who live relatively close to nature. Peasants are also the people whom governments uproot for resource extraction. Sound vaguely like any movies you've seen recently? Good. So now China's 900 screens running the 3D version are located where exactly? I thought so.

  • by PPH (736903)
    ... which Chinese actress is their equivalent of Barbara Streisand [wikipedia.org]?
  • Actually (Score:3, Funny)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:01PM (#30826036) Homepage Journal

    I thought Avatar was about the people triumphing over big business. You'd think that would go down well in supposedly communist China.

  • WTF??? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:03PM (#30826060)
    Chow-Yun Fat as Confucius? I don't recall Confucius firing away round after round against Ye Old Bad Guy or running someone through with a sword.
    • Chow Yun Fat is turning 55 this year.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mobby_6kl (668092)

        So? Stallone is what, 64 this year? And yet he managed to slice and dice (as well as shoot, of course) through a whole bunch of people while looking absolutely badass in Rambo. Not to mention The Expendables, which looks even more awesome [imdb.com], if that is even physically possible.

        As long as he has some nice shades, a pair of Berettas, and a cool coat, I have high hopes indeed for Chow Yun Fat, the patron saint of guns and kicking ass. Toothpick is optional, but John Woo is highly recommended.

      • Chow Yun Fat is turning 55 this year.

        I remember when I saw "The Replacement Killers", all the college girls on the front row were practically (or perhaps actually) drooling over Chow-Yun Fat. Now, I realize that was 12 years ago.

        I guess what I'm trying to say is, get off my lawn!!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Romberg (1041416)
      A reboot of Confucius would be so fucking awesome that way.
    • There are several versions of Confucius' teachings available out there. [youtube.com]

  • by rbrander (73222) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:10PM (#30826134) Homepage

    Those who imagined that Google was taking a principled stand against Chinese dictatorship might want to read this article in Foreign Policy:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/01/14/chinas_foreign_internet_purge [foreignpolicy.com]

    It builds a strong case that Google was simply cornered into protesting by an extreme and deliberate provocation - the most recent of many that have chased out by blocking or having their buttons pushed until they walked.

    After reading it, I can't help but think that this is yet another case of protectionism disguised as censorship. That sounds strange - to most at /. that's like disguising a common assault as a kidnaping. But, of course, to the money guys at the top, protectionism is by far the worse - and more actionable - sin.

  • I wonder if the film about Confucius will have any mention of his teaching on The Mandate of Heaven [wikipedia.org]. Perhaps I'm just a Westerner, but it seems toe like Chinese government failed to fulfill this mandate long ago.

  • Forced Evictions... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:23PM (#30826292)
    IMHO District 9 was an equally biting movie with its critical viewpoint to modern day government censorship and control, as an aside I wonder how that movie went over in the People's Republic of Corruption.
    • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:35PM (#30826406) Journal
      It might not have made it in the country at all. According to the article, only 20 foreign films are allowed in China at all every year. Avatar wasn't released there until 2010 because in 2009 the film quota had already been met.

      As an aside, this policy may sound harsh, but I had a professor who lived in China 25 years ago, and the movie theater was basically a sheet hung up outside with a projection shown on it. And it was so impressive that the people were willing to sit outside in freezing cold weather to watch it (my professor was not willing to). I'm not trying to defend the Chinese government or anything, but if I were a citizen of China, I would definitely say that things had gotten better, even with only 20 foreign movies allowed in, and would probably be willing to give my government the benefit of a doubt.
    • by mobby_6kl (668092)

      Since the main villain of D9 was made to be a corporation, I'd say it would go over pretty well in China. I didn't get much of a anti-censorship or anti-government vibe from that film either, it seemed to be a pretty generic "evil corporation and its mercenaries" story. Quite like Avatar, now that I think about it.

  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:28PM (#30826332)
    The people of China have a natural right to view Avatar. The fact that their current government does not respect that right does not diminish that right's inherent truth.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Ironchew (1069966)

      The people of China have a natural right to view Avatar. The fact that their current government does not respect that right does not diminish that right's inherent truth.

      I let the movie theater know that the last time I had no money and I just wanted a ticket. They didn't bite.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I did not say you could see it for free. I just mean that the people have the right to enter into a voluntary transaction to view the movie for a fee without fear of their government throwing them in jail for having some 'dangerous thoughts'.
  • Communist logic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mc6809e (214243) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:34PM (#30826390)

    Remember that those theaters belong to "the people" and the representative of "the people" decided it would be a good idea if they were used for something else. There are only 4,000 screens making them a limited resource, after all, and they must be used efficiently. This is strictly an economic decision.

    Hey, big Chinese brother is only looking out for you.

  • Look. I can not hold a grudge against any man who takes pride and preference in his own; family, kind, nation, company or foot ball team.

    China actually has a good thing in my opinion. While Hollywood moves to feed crap to whoever will watch, they seem to also decide to give those same people something a little less media driven. I wish the United States did something like this, maybe people might gain a sense of patriotism or pride, maybe the United States could make theatres do a mandatory showing for t

  • by sp3d2orbit (81173) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:50PM (#30826536)

    When the Chinese became part of the WTO, they signed treaties stating:

    "China will provide non-discriminatory treatment to all WTO Members. All foreign individuals and enterprises, including those not invested or registered in China, will be accorded treatment no less favourable than that accorded to enterprises in China with respect to the right to trade." - WTO, 2001 [wto.org]

    In other words, "all foreign enterprises will be treated the same as domestic enterprises in China".

    By pulling Avatar in favor of domestic movies, limiting foreign films to 10 days run time, and limiting the number of screens available China is violating its commitments under the law. It would be like the US banning Chinese manufactured imports because those imports were too successful compared to domestic brands.

    China needs to honor its commitments to free trade, or be kicked out of the WTO. Which, coincidentally, would make it legal for the US to ban their imports.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by couchslug (175151)

      Kicking China out of WTO or banning their imports and starting a trade war over trifles isn't useful or smart. There would be no benefit to doing it.

      Other than that, great idea.

  • Wow! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scubamage (727538) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @09:22PM (#30827240)
    So despite all of the ripping on the movie for being simplistic, I'm amazed at how much conversation it has spawned on this site alone. Pretty good for a simple story. Don't you think so?

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