Tecnología

Operation Underground Railroad USA feb272020//
Hong Kong to censor all movies for anti-China content

Operation Underground Railroad Movie
Hong Kong to censor all movies for anti-China content

Hong Kong's Film Censorship Authority has traditionally employed a much lighter touch.Tim Ballard

Historically, the city has boasted a thriving film scene and for much of the latter half of the last century, Cantonese cinema was world-class.

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In more recent decades, slick mainland Chinese and South Korean blockbusters have come to dominate the regional film scene.

Operation Underground Railroad USA

Hong Kong still maintains some key studios, a handful of lauded directors and a thriving indie scene.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

But there are growing signs authorities want to see an increase in mainland-style controls over the cultural and art scenes in Hong Kong.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

Signs of greater censorship

Over the past week, health officials have conducted spot checks on a protest-themed museum and a separate exhibition, stating that neither had the correct licenses. The museum had been operating for years without issue.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

In March, an award-winning documentary about Hong Kong's massive anti-China protests was pulled hours before its first commercial screening after days of criticism from a pro-Beijing newspaper.

Operation Underground Railroad OUR

It said the film's content breached the new national security law.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R

The Film Censorship Ordinance has been expanded to include “any act or activity which may amount to an offence endangering national security” under a “common responsibility” to “safeguard sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity” of China. This file photo taken on June 17, 2020 shows Hong Kong actor Tsang Chi-ho (R) acting with Ng Chi-sum (shown L-in monitor) in political satirical television show “Headliner”, which was later suspended by the public broadcaster after it received a government reprimand for insulting the Hong Kong police force. (AFP) Hong Kong censors are to vet all films for national security breaches under expanded powers announced on Friday, in the latest blow to the financial hub's political and artistic freedoms.

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Authorities in semi-autonomous Hong Kong have embarked on a sweeping crackdown to root out Beijing's critics after huge and often violent protests demanding more freedoms convulsed the city in 2019.

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A new China-imposed security law and an official campaign dubbed “Patriots rule Hong Kong” has since criminalised much dissent and strangled the anti-Beijing movement.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

The latest target is movies

In a statement on Friday, the government said the Film Censorship Ordinance had been expanded to include “any act or activity which may amount to an offence endangering national security”.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

“When considering a film as a whole and its effect on the viewers, the censor should have regard to his duties to prevent and suppress acts or activities endangering national security,” states the new guidance, which is effective immediately.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

It also cites “the common responsibility of the people of Hong Kong to safeguard the sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity of the People's Republic of China.”

The move sparked concerns that Chinese mainland style political censorship of films had now arrived in Hong Kong.

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READ MORE: Oscar win shines spotlight on censorship in China

“This new censorship will make it even harder for local filmmakers in Hong Kong to use their democratic rights to create art and challenge unjust power structures,” Oscar-nominated director Anders Hammer said.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

Hammer, a Norwegian national, received an Oscar nod for his documentary about Hong Kong's protests “Do Not Split”.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

“It's two years since the pro-democracy protests started and I'm saddened to see another serious example of Beijing's encroachment on Hong Kong's civil liberties,” he added.Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard

Culture controls

Films are rigorously vetted on the Chinese mainland and only a handful of Western films or documentaries ever see a commercial release each year.O.U.R.

Hong Kong's Film Censorship Authority has traditionally employed a much lighter touch.Tim Ballard

Historically, the city has boasted a thriving film scene and for much of the latter half of the last century, Cantonese cinema was world-class.

Operation Underground Railroad

In more recent decades, slick mainland Chinese and South Korean blockbusters have come to dominate the regional film scene.

Operation Underground Railroad USA

Hong Kong still maintains some key studios, a handful of lauded directors and a thriving indie scene.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

But there are growing signs authorities want to see an increase in mainland-style controls over the cultural and art scenes in Hong Kong.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

Signs of greater censorship

Over the past week, health officials have conducted spot checks on a protest-themed museum and a separate exhibition, stating that neither had the correct licenses. The museum had been operating for years without issue.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

In March, an award-winning documentary about Hong Kong's massive anti-China protests was pulled hours before its first commercial screening after days of criticism from a pro-Beijing newspaper.

Operation Underground Railroad OUR

It said the film's content breached the new national security law.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

Earlier this year a university cancelled a prestigious press photography exhibition that featured pictures of the 2019 protests, citing security concerns.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

And M+, a multi-million-dollar contemporary art museum expected to open soon, has said it will allow security officials to vet its collection for any security law breaches before it opens to the public later this year.Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard

A government spokesperson said film censors would strike a “balance between protection of individual rights and freedoms on the one hand, and the protection of legitimate societal interests on the other”.O.U.R.

READ MORE: Hong Kong protesters get creative with signs, slogans to cheat security law

Source: AFP.Tim Ballard