Authorities confiscate new movie

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 August, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 August, 1994, 12:00am

AUTHORITIES have confiscated the second film by He Jianjun, one of the seven ''outlaws'' of China's independent film industry.

The move was part of China's ongoing crackdown on independent film-making.

A source said official film censors had confiscated all footage of He's second film, Youdiyuan (The Postman), claiming the film, which was at the post-production stage, was illegal.

China issued a ban on six ''Sixth Generation'' directors and one experimental film group last March.

All 16 official studios, film processing labs and even equipment and rental companies have received orders not to entertain those who have been blacklisted, including He.

In his early 30s, He has assisted in the production of internationally renowned Chinese film director Chen Kaige's The Yellow Earth, The Great Parade, and King of the Children.

His first film, Red Beans, was one of three Beijing demanded be axed from the Hong Kong International Film Festival early this year because they had not been approved by the official censors.

The source said the same ''crime'' had been committed with Youdiyuan.

The film is about how a Chinese postman, bored by his routine job, begins to read mail in which he discovers secrets of other people, like homosexuals.

Homosexuality has been branded a taboo subject in China and little discussion is allowed in the media.

''It is not so much the content that has irritated authorities and caused the action,'' the source said.

''I think the film having been made without official approval is the main reason for the confiscation. They want to establish and consolidate their authority before things get out of hand.'' He said the current crackdown was triggered by the screening of two independent films, Beijing Bastard and Blue Kite, in the Tokyo Film Festival last November. The official Chinese delegation had walked out in protest against the screenings.

Zhang Yuan and Tian Zhuangzhuang, directors of the two films respectively, later topped the list of the seven banned film-makers.