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China pulls pics out of Palm Springs fest

Country protests event's inclusion of Tibetan theme film

BEIJING — China has pulled two movies out of the Palm Springs Film Festival in protest over the inclusion of a film about the Tibetan independence movement.

The yanked movies are Lu Chuan’s “City of Life and Death,” about the brutal 1937 occupation of the city of Nanjing by the invading Japanese army, and a short called “Quick, Quick, Slow.”

State media said Chinese producers were angered at Palm Spring’s inclusion of “The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom,” which deals with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing considers a dangerous separatist.

Fest director Darryl Macdonald said Palm Springs execs had met Chinese government officials who had asked them not to screen “The Sun Behind the Clouds” but had declined this request.

Macdonald said in a statement that he was saddened that the Chinese film authorities had chosen to withdraw their films but added, “We cannot allow the concerns of one country or community to dictate what films we should or should not play, based on their own cultural or political perspective.”

This is the latest example of Chinese government interference in international cultural events.

In July, Chinese directors were required to withdraw their films from the Melbourne Film Festival after the government objected to a film about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, whom Beijing also sees as a dangerous separatist.

Beijing also tried to persuade the organizers of the Frankfurt Book Fair in September not to allow two Chinese writers to attend the event.

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