China: Climax of movie ‘Minions: the Rise of Gru’ changed to suit the Communist Party narrative

Chinese censors have ensured that audiences in the country will watch a sanitized version of the latest animated blockbuster from Hollywood ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ as the movie has been adjusted in line with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) narrative. According to reports, the climax of the movie has been changed before it will be screened for audiences in China.

Netizens across the world, however, complained about the noticeable alteration of the ending. Posts on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, about the movie bemoaned how censors attached slideshows at the end of the movie in which the villain of the film Wild Knuckles is caught by the police and serves 20 years in jail and Gru, the protagonist becomes a good person by parenting his three adopted kids. In contrast, the original ending shows the villain elude capture and the protagonist Gru return to a life of crime.

In the Chinese government, revolt against the administration, fighting the police or law enforcement and crime are considered and typecast as milder forms of dissent, according to Phayul citing experts. Police and security agencies have repeatedly been used by the government to curb dissent, quell public outcry and even forcefully crack down on citizens by the government hence any depiction of the defeat of the police or victory over them is strictly banned in the mainstream information and entertainment channels.

Film reviewers recognized the attempt to please China — which became the world’s largest pandemic movie market by box office revenue during the — by including Chinese elements such as a dragon dance and acupuncture. But they lamented that the version they got to watch was “condescending,” the Washington Post reported. It was an ending with “socialist core values,” said one commentator on Weibo.

Earlier this month, a senior Chinese official told the US filmmakers to show more cultural respect, in a rare public remark about censorship after China recently shunned a series of American blockbusters, including the latest Spider-Man film and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” “We hope America can continue to improve the quality of its films on the basis of respecting our culture, customs and audience habits,” Sun Yeli, a Chinese Communist Party vice minister of propaganda, said at a news briefing last Thursday. “We will import from whichever countries that make better films and titles that [better] fit the taste of Chinese audiences.”

Many other film studios have agreed to omit or alter films — sometimes to the extent of changing their storyline — to access the Chinese market. Titles that don’t meet the demands of censors risk getting barred or shelved indefinitely. China censors have done the same thing with the Hollywood film “Logan”, where over 10 minutes from the movie were removed citing that the fight scenes were deemed too violent.

The censorship is not limited to theatrical releases, as Chinese streaming services have also reportedly cut or altered older films. When “Friends” was relaunched on Chinese streaming platforms this year, video site Bilibili excised references to the ex-wife of main character Ross being a lesbian.

And in “Lord of War,” a film starring Nicolas Cage as a fictional Ukrainian arms smuggler, audiences are told the main characters receives life imprisonment instead of being freed, according to the Washington Post. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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