Former Bo aide Huang Qifan urges top judges to 'learn from Hollywood'

Watching action heroes and courtroom dramas helps decision-making, Chongqing mayor says

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 March, 2013, 5:43am

Mainland judges should watch more foreign films that involve heroes and courtrooms because they show that justice always prevails over evil - or most of the time, anyway.

Such is the advice to China's top judges from Huang Qifan , the mayor of Chongqing.

According to news portal China.com.cn Huang yesterday urged judges to watch these types of foreign films as they would improve their ability to make decisions on important legal cases. But, he added, they should leave their viewing until Sundays - their day off.

Huang recommended two types of films for judges: action-heroes and courtroom dramas.

Watching action-hero films, Huang said, would improve judges' abilities to balance emotion with rational thinking when making decisions.

Huang also encouraged judges to study Western courtroom dramas, particularly films about American jury trials in which defendants and plaintiffs try to influence the jury's final decision.

Huang stopped short of recommending any particular films by name. But with China's strict censorship, even judges may have to watch movies minus controversial moments. Sexually-explicit scenes, political sensitivities and other topics deemed inappropriate are still unlikely to make it past the cutting-room floor.

Still, advice such as Huang's would have been unthinkable just a year ago before disgraced former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai's fall from grace.

Huang, 60, is one of the few officials to have weathered the municipality's political earthquake last year. Bo was known for his attempts to revive Maoist ideals and "red culture" in Chongqing, which he claimed would improve public morale.

Huang served as the municipality's vice-mayor from 2001 to 2009 and was regarded a close aide until Bo was ousted as party chief last March. Huang also claimed to be at odds with Bo over the latter's "singing red and hitting black" campaigns.

According to Huang, he had openly challenged Bo when he announced the decision to sack Wang Lijun , the former Chongqing police chief who fled to the US consulate in Chengdu in an apparent asylum bid.