‘Vendetta’ gets surprise slot on TV in China

Subversive tale aired on CCTV

BEIJING — A subversive tale of a masked man who takes on an authoritarian government with a campaign of violence is precisely the kind of movie that would ordinarily never get past China’s censor.

But 2005 film “V for Vendetta,” starring Hugo Weaving as V wearing a Guy Fawkes mask later adopted by the Occupy movement, was broadcast uncut on Friday on state broadcaster CCTV’s film channel.

The screening has sparked speculation that the new administration under Xi Jinping, who became General Secretary of the Communist Party last month, is perhaps planning a more liberal approach to broadcasting control.

Chinese filmmakers have long complained that the rigid censorship, orchestrated by the State Administration of Radio, Film and TV, puts the local biz at a disadvantage vs. foreign competish, especially now that more foreign movies are allowed into the country.

Given that censorship is often decided months before movies are shown, “V for Vendetta’s” TV appearance is either a sign the censor is opening up — or a colossal error.

The broadcast even included a line bound to send chills down the spine of an authoritarian ruler: “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

The broadcast was hotly debated on the Twitter-like Weibo, with many saying how astonished they were that such a film was shown, but the comments were later deleted.

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