Titanic 3D–A sign of China’s stricter censorship

April 9, 2012Jing Gao8 Comments, , , , , ,

In the past two weeks, the Chinese government put a temporary gag to the social media and shut down Maoist sites to quell undesirable political discussion, many netizens were busy deciphering the signals the state intends to send – does it mean the tightening of censorship?

This is probably true, at least on the entertainment front. At midnight of April 10, James Cameron’s Titanic 3D and IMAX was released in China. Kate Winslet’s nude scene in Titanic became instantly the focus of Chinese netizens’ attention. In 1997, the scene where Jack draws the nude portrait of Rose was completely uncut and displayed on a wide screen in China, which was deeply registered in the memory of Chinese.  15 years later, when Titanic sails into the cinema again, the nude scene was removed by Chinese censors.

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Many moviegoers find censoring of the nude painting scene unacceptable and ridiculous, “It wasn’t deleted 15 years ago. Why delete it now?” “I didn’t wait 15 years to see a three-dimensional iceberg!” Net user “Cambrian” wrote, “I just want to use a cliché that so many people in their school days love to use, the wheel of the history is spinning, however, it turns out it is only backpedalling.”

The epic film enjoys an exceptionally high status in China, not only because it is the first Hollywood blockbuster to feast Chinese eyes, but also for its romantic and emotionally-charged aspects that titillated Chinese youth. A net user even said, “I can only remember the hand print on the foggy car window.”

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Some even lampooned the state watchdog with a satirical news story, “The State Administration of Radio, Film and Broadcast finally gave an explanation of its decision to remove the nude scene it OK’d 15 years ago: ‘In light of the specialness of 3D movies, we are concerned that viewers may extend their hands for a touch during the scene and hit heads of viewers sitting in their front, which may result in disputes. In consideration for building a society with spiritual civilization, we decide to remove the scene.’”

Nevertheless, where there is oppression there is resistance. The complete 4-minute nude drawing scene was uploaded to here on internet portal Sina three days ago when word of its removal was leaked.

Selected comments on Sohu:

走88[搜狐吉林省长春市网友]
It’s been 15 years. The control has become stricter, which is even worse than two decades ago.

重庆春风[搜狐重庆市网友]
These son of bitches watched that scene themselves and just wouldn’t pass it on to the ordinary people.

喷水工[搜狐网友]
Bro, you are being too outspoken.

直谅多闻981737[搜狐陕西省渭南市网友]
Are they Buddhist monks who have pure hearts and few desires?!

发粪涂墙496395[搜狐网友]
A cadre at the SARFT must have inadvertently extended his hands and touched the head of his boss sitting in front of him while reviewing the film~~

风舞精灵[搜狐北京市网友]
The officials are allowed to f*8k, while the common people are forbidden even to watch.

zyq9911[搜狐河北省邯郸市网友]
The SARFT is really ridiculous. They must have thought of the ordinary people as sex addicts.

足智多谋134038[搜狐北京市网友]
Then should Venus de Milo also get dressed? Some people see the arts, while others only see…The more filthy the mind is, the more obscene it seems to the eyes!

搜狐手机网友[搜狐网友]
I suddenly realize that a few years ago, the SARFT banned the use of English abbreviations, which made us victims of “Mei Zhi Lan” (Chinese abbreviation for “American Professional Basketball”) for two years. The three English letters (NBA) were like a fishbone stuck in the throat that we so wanted to spit out. This year, the ban was finally lifted. Watching basketball games finally is a joy.

hp5230240[搜狐广东省广州市网友]
Those at the SARFT have a filthy heart, so they think of others as exactly the same as themselves. The people are just paying taxes to raise a bunch of pigs!

小甜心864550318[搜狐福建省泉州市网友]
Censorship is the evilest of all.

少年老成302325[搜狐云南省昆明市网友]
Why any film is more or less cut?! Sometimes it (the cut version) really doesn’t make sense. Any film will be a few minutes shorter once it arrives in China. Damn. The SARFT has had watched the full version.

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8 comments to “Titanic 3D–A sign of China’s stricter censorship”

  1. Tao | April 10, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    Hey, help me figure this out (since there’s no timestamp on this post, only a date stamp) – did you guys or did Offbeat China get this story first? Monday 9:57 pm seems to be the cut-off. I ask sincerely, cause I don’t know where to attribute.

    • Jing Gao | April 10, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      I honestly don’t know the exact time, but I must have submitted before 10 30 am Beijing time today. And china digital times mentioned us on their site about an hour later.

    • Chiafu Chen 陳家福 | April 10, 2012 | Permalink Reply

      We published this article at 22:12pm U.S. Pacific Time, or about 6 hours ago as of this writing.

  2. [...] years to see a three-dimensional iceberg,” said one microblog user called Cambrian, according the Ministry of Tofu, a blog on China written by a group of Chinese living in the [...]

  3. [...] Ministry of Tofu ran the same story a few hours later but pointed out that the above quote was satire. (I thought about — I really did — reaching out to Alia of Offbeat China about this. Turns out I really should have.) Quoting satire as fact would be like quoting from the China Daily Show, and if you were a “real” news agency with an express purpose of informing the public — instead of pushing pre- and misconceptions — it would make you, veritably, a fool. [...]

  4. [...] responsible for such matters, has not commented officially, though an imaginary quote created for satirical purposes — “We fear that viewers may reach out their hands for a touch” — has been picked up [...]

  5. [...] offensichtlich seinerseits aus dem chinesischen Internet übernommen hat. Hier ist der vom Ministry of Tofu verlinkten Kommentar im chinesischen Original. [...]

  6. [...] Weekly yang mengutip ulang berita tentang disensornya film Titanic 3D, yang ternyata merupakan berita satir dari blog biasa, tapi bukan dari koran atau portal [...]

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