BEIJING – When 2005 movie “V for Vendetta” was broadcast on Chinese national television this week many viewers were stunned. The movie is based on a comic book and is set in an imagined future Britain ruled by a fascist government. The movie’s main character wears a Guy Fawkes mask, a rebel who tried to blow up the English parliament in the 17th century.
The news that the uncut version of the movie was going to be aired on China’s state-run national television made the rounds on Weibo, the country’s most popular social network, and the move is raising hopes that the Chinese government is loosing its grip on censorship.
The news that the movie was going to aired on China’s CCTV channel was announced by the network itself from its own Weibo account @CCTV6WatchMoviesonTV:
V for Vendetta is on tonight at 9:52 p.m. We’ll post the plot synopsis in advance. Movie-lovers, get ready for a treat!
China’s netizens were delighted with the news and the post soon became a hot trend on the social network. Hu Jia, a rights-activisit based in Beijing tweeted:
This great film couldn’t be any more appropriate for our current situation. Dictators, prisons, secret police, media control, riots, getting rid of ‘heretics’ … fear, evasion, challenging lies, overcoming fear, resistance, overthrowing tyranny … China’s dictators and its citizens also have this relationship.
Chinese authorities maintains a tight grip on print media, television and radio. Programs have to be approved by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television but people with knowledge of the industry say CCTV, the only company with a nationwide broadcast license, is entitled to make its own censorship decisions when showing a foreign movie.