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Drug Arrest Costs ‘A Fool’ Its China Release

Director Chen Jianbin has confirmed that his award-winning film “A Fool” will not receive a release in China.

The film has been in danger of being left on the shelf ever since lead actor Wang Xuebing was arrested a week ago on charges of possessing drugs.

China has stepped up a crackdown on immoral behavior by stars and performers, and it bans artists involved with drugs or found to have used prostitutes.

Chen said that Wang has a leading role, which would make it too difficult to reshoot the film with a replacement actor.

The film is the story of a farmer whose son is arrested. His attempt to put together a bribe for his son’s release sets off a chain of worsening events.

The film had been nominated in five categories at the Golden Horse Awards in Taipei last November. It won in two categories, earning Chen a prize as best actor and as best new director.

It is one of 10 mainland Chinese movies to have passed Taiwan’s import quota on Chinese films, and is scheduled for release this year.

Wang joins a growing list of Chinese actors who have fronted anti-drug campaigns, but who have subsequently been shown to be drug users. Others include Kai Ko, who was arrested last year with Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee Chan, singer Yin Xiangjie (sentenced to seven months in prison), singer Man Wenjun, and singer Xie Dong, who was a repeat drug offender.

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