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'The Lady' Banned In China

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Uploaded on Oct 23, 2011

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The film 'The Lady,' adapted from the lifetime
of Aung San Suu Kyi, a renown Burmese democrat,
premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this September,
drawing great attention from all parties.
However, in China's virtual space all the film critics
and trailers suffered deletions.

Recently, a message was widely spread among netizens
about the film 'The Lady,'
depicting the renowned Burmese pro-democracy activist
Aung San Suu Kyi.
According to the message, the State Administration of Radio,
Film and Television (SARFT) of the communist party (CCP) instructed that the film content is against official regulations.
Thus any form of promotion and publicity cannot be made
in China related to the film news, trailers, etc.

Journalists found a lot of online links for this film
to be disabled.
On a renown video-sharing site a netizen asked:
"Why are there no links for downloading?"
Others replied: "This is a sensitive subject, the theme
of democracy is what the authorities most detest."

A netizen concluded: "The more it is blocked,
the faster it spreads!"

The film is adapted from the life of Aung San Suu Kyi's,
a renowned pro-democracy activist in Burma.
It is directed by Luc Besson, a French action film director,
starring Malaysian celebrity actress, Michelle Yeoh.
In 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma from the U.K.
to take care of her seriously ill mother.
She was imprisoned by Burma's military government
for leading civil democratic movements.
In 1995, since she refused to leave Burma, she lost
the opportunity to get together with her British husband Aris.
Aris died in 1999 of prostate cancer.
The film focuses on the description of this period of Aung San Suu Kyi's life.

This September, after over a year of shooting the film,
'The Lady' premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
On October 12, the film was shown at the Busan Film Festival.

Former news assistant of New York Times' Beijing office,
Zhao Yan analyzed that CCP's Sixth Plenary Session just concluded, claiming to launch "cultural renaissance."
Now CCP's Central Propaganda Department and SARFT
issued such a ban, showing that the CCP authorities have no confidence in the field of culture.

Zhao Yan: "Didn't they claim to embark on the cultural
self-confidence? To embark on the cultural consciousness?
Even such a film describing a non-violent movement leader
in a small country can make you fear? Is there anything you are not fearful of?"

Radio Free Asia was informed by SARFT's marketing dept.
that 'The Lady' was not listed on the screening agenda.
As to the question will the film be screened in China,
no one had yet responded so far.

Li Tiantian (Shanghai-based lawyer): "These things are
what authorities fear very much, for no particular reason.
Speaking more specifically, a person striving for a nation's
democracy and acting upon it is what they are afraid of."

Not long ago Burma's President Wu Dengsheng announced,
that in compliance with people's will he stops Myitsone hydropower project, jointly developed with CCP' authorities.
Prior to his announcement, Wu had an unprecedented
meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi.
From October 12, the government will release 6,300
prisoners, including some renowned political prisoners.

Observers comment that Burma's changes show, the wave
of democratic movements in the Middle East and North Africa has reached Burma.

Zhao Yan: "When Burma's military government was driving
tanks and holding guns to confront the Burmese people,
it was Aung San Suu Kyi who walked in front of the parade,
facing the bullets and saying, "Target me."
What the Chinese people lacked was exactly
Aung San Suu Kyi's spirit.
Facing the power and guns, she exhibited no fear
but came forward boldly, standing by the people."

The 65-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi is born in Yangon, Burma.
She graduated from the University of Oxford, and became Burma's non-violent democratic movement leader.
In 1990, she led The National League for Democracy
winning the general election.
But the election results were nullified by the military government.
Thereafter, she was put under house arrest for 15 years.
In 1990, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Sakharov Prize
and in 1991 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first peace prize winner in jail in history.

'The Lady's U.S. rights were sold to Cohen Media Group.

The film is expected to be released at the end of this year,
and to compete in the Academy Awards.

NTD reporters Qin Xue, Li Qian and Zhou Tian


《神韵》2011世界巡演新亮点
http://www.ShenYunPerformingArts.org/

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