‘Palace’ lockdown

Chinese censors orders silence on 'Summer'

The long arm of the Chinese censors appears to reach as far as the Croisette.

On Friday the Chinese ministry of culture ordered the local media not to report anything about “Summer Palace,” helmer Lou Ye’s film in main competition at Cannes.

Reason for the gag is that the film is attending Cannes without approval from China’s Film Bureau.

Goes without saying that getting the ministry on the record about something it doesn’t want to talk about is going to be tricky. Goodness only knows what will happen if the film gets a major prize.

In a separate incident, bloggers are reporting that unidentified Chinese officials have confiscated and burned promotional brochures for the Johnnie To pic “Election 2,” which plays in Official Selection out of competition.

Explanation is the director’s statement, which asks questions about China’s rule over Hong Kong and the meaning of Hong Kong identity. “In ‘Election 2,’ even gangsters are not excluded from this dilemma,” To says.

Wonder how the machinations are affecting the nerves of the Chinese nationals on the main competish jury — Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai, who heads the jury, and mainland actress Ziyi Zhang.

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