The U.S. independent film “Nomadland,” topped the awards at the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards on March 7 and won a Golden Globe paving the way for the 2021 Oscars in its category. But in China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recently censored all web publicity about the hit film, following the publication of a 2013 interview with its director Chloé Zhao in which she criticized the CCP.

The Chinese release of the Golden Globe-winning film “Nomadland” could be in doubt.

As reported by The Guardian, promotional material and references to Zhao’s film, were abruptly and completely removed from the internet in China, days after state media even widely praised the director for becoming the first Asian woman in history to win a Golden Globe for best director. State media headlines praised her as “the pride of China” and announced the film’s scheduled release for April 23.

Since Friday last week All reference to the film began to disappear from state and social media on Friday, March 5, the same also happened to the film’s showtimes on major ticketing websites. China’s National Alliance of Arthouse Cinemas, which was approved to show “Nomadland” by the CCP, has not responded to press inquiries about the change.

According to reports, the censorship came after an interview Zhao gave to Filmmaker Magazine in 2013, in which she explained her sudden departure to England to study at the age of 15. During the conversation, Zhao let slip the phrase,, “China is a place where there are lies everywhere,” which provoked the CCP’s ire and it ordered her to be censored. 

On Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, a hashtag related to the film had registered more than 87 million views and 40,000 forwards, but its content has completely disappeared and the hashtag has been replaced by a message informing that it was removed “in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and political policies.”

Now the search engine result on Weibo for the word “Nomadland” in Chinese results in absolutely nothing.

The attitude of the CCP is no longer surprising. In fact, its influence has been known for years over the major Hollywood production companies where it injects huge sums of money to impose its pro-CCP propaganda on new films and even modifies scripts or characters of classic films before allowing them to enter the Chinese market. 

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), being interviewed in early March by Breitbart, said that the CCP is giving large sums of cash to Hollywood movie studios seeking to impose pro-Communist propaganda and eliminate the image of Chinese playing villains in movies.

During the interview Cotton said that during the Cold War, Hollywood studios regularly portrayed communists aligned with the Soviet Union as the villains in movies. However, in current times Hollywood studios are not acting the same way with CCP-linked villainous characters. 

“When was the last time you saw a Chinese bad guy in a movie?” Cotton said. “In the Cold War, the Russian communists were always the bad guys. You’d think the Chinese Communists would provide good fodder for Hollywood, but you never see it.”

The CCP understood years ago that Hollywood is an excellent place to spread its pro-communist ideals, both because of the millions of consumers Hollywood has around the world, and because of the prevailing ambition for money in the environment that facilitates investment possibilities in exchange for imposing determined positions on scripts and stories.

Following this logic, it seems that the CCP will not accept that there is a successful film in China and that its director speaks ill of the CCP, as happened with Zhao.

 

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