Tough Love in China: Tang Wei Blacklisted for "Beautifying Collaboration"

  Previous  |  Next  

Saturday March 08, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

The control freaks in China are at it again; not content with controlling religion, the media etc., they now want to control art. The latest to fall under their ban is actress Tang Wei because the character she plays in the movie "Lust Caution" falls in love with a Japanese collaborator. The way it is phrased is that the role she plays "beautifies" collaboration. Dear me, now actors and actresses must not only express personal party line sentiments but they must clear what artistic characters they will play in films and theatre with the freaks in Beijing.

Shades of reality, is it possible that there were people in China who collaborated and did not love the dear old motherland that Beijing does not want to admit to? Is there a danger and a threat to the ruling autocrats that they must demand blind loyalty and not let art, religion or anything else get in the way?

What is of particular side interest is the fact that tours from China to Hong Kong often sponsor seeing the uncut version of "Lust Caution" where all sexually explicit scenes are shown. The tours of course are not worried about compromising their loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party (CPP). Is it perhaps that they want to see the film because the sexual scenes have some socially redeeming value??

China's tough love does not apply to all. The Director of the film, Ang Lee has been spared censure because he is an artistic adviser to the Beijing Olympics; also from what can be gathered, the Hong Kong actor Tony Leung who plays the collaborator has not fallen under the ax. Is there some patriarchal chauvinist favoritism here? And what about the author, Eileen Chang, upon whose novella the film was based; obviously she should be banned also for writing art and not propaganda.