Calling the shots
Controversies caused by the mainland's censorship of films
Summer Palace (2006)
Directed by the acclaimed Lou Ye, it is a love story set against the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown and contains explicit love scenes. It competed for the Cannes Palme d'Or without Beijing's approval. Mainland media was not allowed to report on the film's appearance, which brought the director a five-year ban from making films on the mainland.
Lost in Beijing (2007)
Starring Hong Kong's Tony Leung Ka-fai and mainlander Fan Bingbing, the film tells a story of a migrant worker attempting to blackmail the boss of a foot massage parlour after realising he had raped his wife. Directed by Li Yu, the film was entered in the Berlin film festival after sex scenes were cut. The film was banned after censored scenes were circulated online. Producer Fang Li, who also produced Summer Palace, was hit with a two-year ban.
Lust, Caution (2007)
Director Ang Lee's award-winning screen adaptation of Eileen Chang's short story of the same name was allowed to be shown on the mainland after sex scenes between the film's leads, Tony Leung Chiu-wai and newcomer Tang Wei, had been cut. But Tang recently faced a mainland media ban because of the love scenes. It was reported that a beauty product ad featuring Tang was banned. The film won the Golden Lion at last year's Venice Film Festival.