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[HanCinema's News] "Parasite" Screening Canceled at Chinese Film Festival


"Parasite" was set to be the closing film of the thirteenth annual FIRST International Film Festival in Xining this year. However, just one day before the film was set to screen on July 28th the screening was canceled due to technical difficulties. There are suspicions about whether this was the actual reason, or whether the real problem was the film's content.

The phrase 'technical difficulties' has had notoriety as of late. 'The Eight Hundred', a Chinese war film depicting the defense of a warehouse during the second Sino-Japanese War by Nationalist Chinese soldiers, was also pulled from its opening film spot at the Shanghai Film Festival for this official reason. 'One Second', a film by Zhang Yimou set during the Cultural Revolution was pulled from the Berlin Film Festival with the same justification.

According to the Global Times six films have had their releases canceled in China this summer owing to technical reasons, with no clearer reasons being given. While the phrase has been mocked on Chinese social media, it is conceivable that movies are having technical difficulties and that more detail isn't being offered to avoid embarrassing the relevant companies involved in production and distribution.

That "Parasite" is apparently one such movie offers some credence to this argument, as there is no obvious reason why a highly acclaimed South Korean film about class struggle would be prevented from screening at a film festival in mainland China when it has already had an official theatrical release in Hong Kong and Macao. "Parasite" recently passed the ten million viewer threshold at the South Korean box office.

Written by William Schwartz


"Parasite" is directed by Bong Joon-ho, and features Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Wooshik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun. Release date in Korea: 2019/05/30.

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