In a letter addressed to Chinese authorities, award-winning filmmaker Xie Fei has accused local film censors of being “a corrupt black spot for controlling the prosperity of the cultural and entertainment industry,” wire reports say. The review system that deems whether a movie can be released in China or not is “killing artistic exploration and wasting administrative resources,” Xie, who won a Golden Bear in Berlin for 1993’s The Women From The Lake Of Scented Souls, wrote in his letter. “The state administrative methods and the censorship system that manages the film industry long ago lost its real social, economic, ideological and cultural significance,” he said. And, there should be a new rating system “that allows for a self-governed and self-disciplined film industry, bound by legal restrictions and administrative supervision.” Xie also noted that directors like Jiang Wen had recently faced difficulty in gaining approval from censors and that restrictions on Chinese filmmakers were contributing to soft box office for local films. (In November, an official from China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said box office was up 40% on last year, but the local share of that pie was only 40%.) Xie is now a professor at the Beijing Film Academy and has been working as a consultant on a film about the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution that includes homosexuality as a theme. The film, he said, has been awaiting the censors’ approval for four months.
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