Here’s another story summing up the latest Chinese affronts to artistic freedom in the somewhat artistic world of the cinema.
For years, Hollywood has been reluctant to deliver Chinese villains, to place big screen wrongdoing in Chinese hands. Think back to “2012,” in which the human race is saved from extinction by gigantic, Chinese-built arks. Or “Red Dawn,” where the invaders were made North Korean and not Chinese. “Iron Man 3” has a villain named The Mandarin, and he’s played by Ben Kingsley. Nothing at all Chinese about him or the character. And so on.
Whatever changes the Internet Age, an increasingly global economy and culturally porous borders promise for China, for its leaders to be able to cow Hollywood into editing films to suit the perceptions the one-party dictatorship wants to preserve is counter-productive and slows the process of democratization.