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  • Dec 24, 2014
  • Updated: 9:59am
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Chinese director takes on Oliver Stone over his criticism of China’s film industry

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 April, 2014, 5:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 April, 2014, 2:37am
 

A Chinese film director has hit back at American filmmaker Oliver Stone after the Oscar winner accused counterparts in China of not confronting the damaging legacy of the country's past.

Ning Hao, best known for his low-budget hit Crazy Stone, accused Stone of "finding fault with China" after the Platoon director criticised Chinese filmmakers for not being honest when it comes to making films about the country's history.

"Mao Zedong has been lionised in dozens and dozens of Chinese films, but never criticised," Stone told an audience in Beijing during a panel discussion on co-productions between China and Hollywood last week. "It's about time. You've got to make a movie about Mao, about the Cultural Revolution."

Phoenix News reported that in an interview with the state-owned Global Times, Ning, whose latest comedy-thriller No Man's Land also fell victim to the country's censorship rules, hit back at Stone, saying China's situation was far more complicated.

"There are always certain subjects that remain sensitive. He was kind of finding fault with China," Ning was quoted as saying. "Will he be all right with it if we start making films about September 11?"

Ning's comments triggered heated discussion on Chinese social media.

Cultural critic Cui Weiping voiced disappointment at Stone's remarks. "The Cultural Revolution and September 11 are both the tragedy of a nation, but the former was a long-lasting war against its own people.

"By comparing a system restricted by censorship to one that is free from censorship, [the director] was taking abnormal as normal," Cui wrote online.

Others, including critic Li Xingwen, faulted both directors.

"Stone was talking like a global policeman whereas Ning was like a servant of the country," Li wrote.

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This article is now closed to comments

reggiedog
"Will he be all right with it if we start making films about September 11?" Answer: yes, that's the whole point.
bolshoi
I must say I agree with the American director this time. Mr Stone has earned his credential for being critical of Chinese film making because he is one of the foremost critics of this own culture.
andreaswagner
Learning to accept criticism is part of growing up. And if someone like Oliver Stone speaks, it is wise to listen. If China wants to be taken serious in the international community, it still has a long way to go in this field. It also means to come clean with your own history, instead of always pointing fingers to others about this topic.
Dai Muff
Stone HAS made films criticising the US establishment and its history. As have many other filmmakers.
Paradox314
I think what the sensitive egos in China don't realize, is that 'western' artists and some of the media harshly criticize their own cultures and states. And this is the very 'oxygen' of democracy. It's what enables a society to change, grow and improve.
chaz_hen
Thanks for speaking on behalf of all Chinese. Have you sworn undying fealty to Xi Jinping yet?
Daniel Lee
Oliver Stone is highly respected and he is absolutely right with his comments about the Cultural Revolution and Mao. The Chinese government have appraised Mao as being 70& correct and 30% wrong. Deng Xiaoping by launching Reform and Opening Up have addressed past mistakes including the Cultural Revolution. In short China made two mistakes the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution which they have corrected although the process continues with deepening reforms. The US since the end of WWII have been making one foreign policy mistakes after another like Vietnam War, Middle East Oppression, Containment of China, War on Muslims and now Ukraine. 911 was the Muslim response on the War on Muslims. Japan have remained ensnared by it's barbaric war history. Both countries are unable to reform.
wiseman
Lecture your own country first.
p90gundam
this shows how little chinese critics know or understand about usa history: he should have hit back oliver stone about how come hollywood never confront= slaughtering of local indians despite accomplished treaties, invasion of hawaiian kingdom and killing its loyal family, killing near half million phillipinos during occupation and suppression of their quest for independence, suppression and discrimantion of blacks in their own country up to 1970, generating authorative dictators in iran, asia,south america during 60,70s, continued support of dictators and antidemocracy in present middle east by practicing double standard between allies and foes, regime change and destablizing sovereign countries thru overt military or disguised people revolution.
I Gandhi
You are right. The US is founded on the genocide of the native American Indians and the slavery of millions of blacks. George Washington had slaves and children with his own slaves. The US is a hypocritical country where the religious right have little tolerance for democracy which in the US anyway is a dead duck when only about 40% even bother to vote. What the world needs is regime change in the US and the return of conquered territories back to the Native Americans and Mexico.

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