Wednesday, September 2, 2009

China kicks old friends in the pants

In the 'New York Times Online' [2 September 2009] appears 'Filmmakers barred from China Festival'.
In an effort to put a bright smile on a lamentable situation, the Chinese authorities have banned the showing of 'China's unnatural disaster: the tears of Sichuan province' at this year's Beijing International Festival. Filmed by the award winning documentary filmmaker Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill, it captures the anger and sadness of loss of parents whose children died in the collapse of shoddily built schools during a strong earthquake in 2008.
The Chinese Communist Party [CCP] has treated with a rough and steel hand the families who called for redress and the pursuit of corrupt officials and builders, the more especially government buildings withstood the violent shocks of the quake but not the shabby schools.
Alpert and O'Neill along with a co producer Dr. Peter Kwong, chairman of Asian Studies at New York's Hunter College had visa applications rejected. As such, they and their documentary are barred from the festival in Beijing, which is not surprising as the CCP is going to celebrate the 60 anniversary of its seizure of power in 1949.
For Dr. Kwong a reconstructed Maoist, and drum beat for Beijing, this must come as a loss of face.

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