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Chinese crime drama “Summer of Changsha” screened at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section despite lacking the necessary approvals from China’s censors. It premiered without its director or creative team in attendance, who blamed “technical reasons” for their absence — marking the third time that Chinese censorship appears to have caused a disruption at a major international festival this year.
The film played to full theaters on the Croisette Wednesday and Thursday, but without the required “dragon seal” that indicates it has been approved by Chinese authorities. Movies lacking the seal cannot be released theatrically in China, and, since a recent tightening of restrictions, also increasingly cannot be screened abroad at festivals. Titles bound for overseas festivals now also need an additional travel permit that, once issued, means that a film’s length and dialogue cannot be changed and no new investors can come on.
Noon - Tuesday - Film - Weibo - Media
At noon on Tuesday, the film’s official Weibo social media account put out a statement that read, “Due to technical reasons, the ‘Summer of Changsha’ producer and creative team will not attend the 72nd Cannes Film Festival and affiliated official activities.” This announcement was issued even though the film’s producer was already in Cannes.
The same term — “technical reasons” — had been cited as the reason that Zhang Yimou’s highly anticipated...
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