Aung San Suu Kyi

Video may tangle Madonna in row

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 September, 2009, 12:00am

Belated interest in a controversial Madonna video is threatening to embroil the queen of pop in controversy on the mainland.

The video, which the singer has been playing at concerts around the world all year, likens China's rulers to those of Nazi Germany and other violent political regimes.

There have been some angry reactions on mainland internet forums, but the video seems little known in China. It accompanied Madonna's song, Get Stupid, during her Sticky and Sweet World Tour. The last stop on the 27-show tour was Israel.

An earlier version of the video sparked a row in the US last August as it put then presidential candidate John McCain in the same camp as Adolf Hitler. It was shown at 58 shows in the US and 18 other countries over four months, and was included in a DVD released early this year, which also contained references to the central government.

However, the snub apparently went unnoticed on the mainland until now. The video opens with images of melting ice caps and rising temperatures because of climate change, and of famine, war and disease.

The lyrics tell the audience to, 'Get up, it's time, your life, your world ... your life, make a choice'.

At one point, Premier Wen Jiabao's image is shown flanked by Chinese flags bearing the phrase 'get stupid' written in Chinese.

Scenes of cheering crowds at last year's Beijing Olympics then cut to footage of police beating protesting Tibetan Buddhist monks.

The Chinese images follow similar montages of Hitler and the Nazi holocaust, Robert Mugabe and his regime in Zimbabwe, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the crackdown on demonstrations in Tehran.

The section also features Senior General Than Shwe of Myanmar and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

In the final segment, a montage of images is shown apparently representing the 'right' choices for the future: the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mother Theresa, John Lennon and US President Barack Obama, among others.