Hong Kong to Censor Films Under China’s Security Law

The city government said it would halt the distribution of films that were deemed to undermine national security, bringing the region in line with mainland Chinese censorship.

For decades, Hong Kong’s film industry has enthralled global audiences with ballistic shoot-em-ups, epic martial-arts fantasy, chopsocky comedy and shadow-drenched romance. Now, under Beijing’s orders, local authorities will investigate such actions with a view to the security of the People’s Republic of China.

The city government said on Friday that it would start stop the distribution of films Which are considered to undermine national security, marking the official arrival of mainland Chinese-style censorship at one of Asia’s best-known filmmaking centers.

The guidelines, which apply to both domestically produced and foreign films, are the latest indication of how well Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory, has been replaced by a security law enacted last year to quell anti-government protests. He is going.

With the blessings of the Communist government in Beijing, Hong Kong authorities have changed school curricula, removed books from library shelves and changed elections. Police have arrested pro-democracy activists and politicians as well as the publisher of a high-profile newspaper.

And the law in art has created an atmosphere of fear.

update rule It was announced on Friday that Hong Kong censors need to consider a film for distribution for viewing not only violent, sexual and pornographic material, but also how the film “endangers national security”. may amount to an offence.”

Anything that “can be reasonably and reasonably regarded as endorsement, endorsement, promotion, glorification, encouragement or incitement” to such acts are potential grounds for considering a film ineligible for exhibition, the rules now say.

The rules do not limit the scope of the censor’s decision to the content of the film alone.

The guidelines state, “When considering the impact of the film as a whole and its potential impact on the persons likely to view the film, the censors shall have the duty to prevent and suppress the act or activity endangering national security.” needed.”

a hong kong official statement said on Friday: “The film censorship regulatory framework is built on a balance between the protection of individual rights and freedoms on the one hand and the protection of legitimate social interests on the other.”

Critics of the security law say its vaguely defined offenses give authorities wide latitude to target activists and critics.

“How do you raise funds?” asked Evans Chan, a filmmaker who has faced problems screening his work in Hong Kong. “Can you openly crowdsource and say it’s a film about certain perspectives, certain activities?”

He said that even feature filmmakers would be left wondering if their films would not come under the purview of the law. “It’s not just a matter of active filmmaking or political filmmaking, but the overall scene of filmmaking in Hong Kong.”

At its peak during the decades following World War II, the city’s film industry enjoyed widespread influence in the film world, churning out popular genre films and nurturing biographies such as Wong Kar-wai and An Hui. The influence of Hong Kong cinema can be seen in the work of Hollywood directors including Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese, and in blockbuster films such as “The Matrix”.

Recently, Hong Kong’s political turmoil has been of intense interest to artists and documentaries, even though their work has sometimes struggled to be shown to audiences.

There was a screening of a documentary about the 2019 protests canceled at the last minute This year a pro-Beijing newspaper accused the film of promoting sabotage. University of Hong Kong urged his student union To cancel the screening of a film about a jailed activist.

The screening went as planned. But after a few months, the university said It will stop collecting membership fees on behalf of the organization and stop managing its finances as punishment for its “radical acts”.

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