A draft law to promote China’s movie industry was submitted to the country’s top legislature for the first-round review on October 30th. It aims to regulate the fast-growing market, support domestic filmmakers and boost international cooperation. The administrative approval for programs set to shoot will be simplified, says Cai Fuchao (蔡赴朝), director-general of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television ( SAPPRFT广电总局).
However, the news of the draft law is not well accepted by the netizens on Sina Weibo. A lot of users point out that the strict select and control is the solution to cope with the chaos of film market in China.
User “LK_luck” is surprised by the new law:
“What’s the point of relaxing approval process? The current film market in China is a mess already. What we need is quality rather than quantity. The SAPPRFT should clarify the criterion to promote the healthy development of Chinese movie industry.”
More importantly, many users are disappointed that the draft law does not contain movie rating, which is more crucial than simplifying the approval process. User “superxixi” says:
“It doesn’t really matter if the approval process will be simplified or not. The key is to cancel censorship and set up film rating so that audiences from difference ages can fully enjoy the movies.”
Another user “Sky E” adds:
“It seems like rating closes a window for certain group of people to watch the movies, but in fact it opens a door to a broader population. This kind of openness is a taboo to ideologically narrow-minded stubborn defenders. As long as xxx (the Communist Party) is in charge, film rating will never realize in China. It is the woe of Chinese movies, artists and audiences.”
Film rating has not been implemented in Mainland China though it has been advised many times by different groups and individuals. The purpose of movie censorship in China is to have all the audiences enjoy the same movie by cutting some scenes.
The proposal of film rating was firstly initiated in 1998 when countless Chinese parents complained about the scene of blood flowing like scream in the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. Then the topic has been discussed for almost 20 years without any progress.
The movie industry in China has grown remarkably from film-making to movie market in the past 20 years. Audiences now have access to many types of movies. However, whether they are domestic or imported movies, most of them are censored. Certain type of movies can hardly be seen in the movie theater, for instance, horror films. Audiences desire to see more types of movies with no censorship, and that’s one of the reasons why piracy is rampant in China.
“Film rating is like a dream that will never come true in China. The original purpose of rating is to give parents the information they need to decide whether a film is appropriate for their family. However, the Chinese government doesn’t want anyone has the access to violence, bloodiness and pornography. Once the film rating is established, the Party cannot censor or ban the movies in the name of protecting the youth,” shares user “Sylvia” on Sina Weibo.