China has cancelled screenings of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained as the Asian country continues its policy of censoring Hollywood movies.
By James Lachno and AFP
9:30AM BST 11 Apr 2013
Chinese cinemas cancelled all screenings of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained as the film was released on Thursday, according to local reports.
The Chinese news and entertainment website Sina revealed that cinemas across China were ordered to suspend screenings of the film.
Several unnamed cinema employees have claimed that the order came from the state-run film distributor China Film Group Corporation, which cited an unspecified technical problem with the film.
One user of Sina’s social media channel claimed they had been watching the film, which stars Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio, when it was stopped “after just one minute”.
Other posters speculated that nude scenes or the “dangerous” theme of underdogs rising up by force had caused the film to be pulled.
Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained
China strictly censors films and other media for sexual and political sensitivities, and limits distribution of foreign films to protect the domestic industry.
Django Unchained was to be Tarantino’s first film to enjoy a commercial release in China.
Only yesterday it was reported that bloody scenes from the film – which tells the story of a freed slave who becomes a bounty hunter in Antebellum-era America – had been toned down for its Chinese release. Changes were said to include the colour of blood being made darker, although the film’s full-length running time of 165 was maintained.
This is the latest in a number of incidences where China has censored Western films. Earlier this year Chinese censors cut 40 minutes of love scenes from Hollywood film Cloud Atlas, and last year James Bond film Skyfall had scenes set in Chinese territories cut.
Men in Black 3, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End and Mission: Impossible 3 are also among films that have been heavily altered by the Chinese authorities.
Hollywood studios are now taking steps to recut and edit films to make them suitable for Chinese audiences far in advance of release. Earlier this week, it was reported that Brad Pitt’s forthcoming zombie epic World War Z would drop a reference to China in a scene where the characters debate where the origins of a zombie pandemic.
It is unclear if Django Unchained will be shown again in Chinese cinemas.