Mo Yan the censorship fighter
On hearing the news of Mo Yan's Nobel win and seeing the many negative respones that accompanied it, poet Jian Ning had this lesser-known story to share on Sina Weibo about Mo's hand a several years ago in helping film director Jia Zhangke overcome a ban on his films:
Given all this fierce criticism, I just want to say something about Mo Yan's sense of morality. In two words: kindness and sincerity. And not just for himself. Before the ban on Jia Zhangke's films had been lifted, Mo spoke out personally with harsh words for Zhang Hongsen, deputy head of Sarft's film bureau, saying "Your placement of a ban order on a director like this is nothing less than a crime." I don't know if his words had any effect, but the ban on Jia was lifted soon after that. The director Cui Jianqi and screenwriter Su Xiaowei were both present when Mo [reproached Zhang]. It's rare that I see one of the culturati talk to a "leader" like that.
Read more on Jia's own thoughts about film censorship here.
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