Anyone Seen The China Version Of Cloud Atlas? You Know, The Version Missing 38 Minutes

Cloud Atlas censored

In what can only be regarded as “Hollywood with Chinese Characteristics,” 38 minutes of Cloud Atlas, a sci-fi drama starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, have been deemed unfit for Chinese audiences. In America the movie suffered from lukewarm reviews; in China, it suffered from mass excision, notably love scenes involving both straight and gay couples.

Such a cut comes on the heels of high-profile censorship of Skyfall. Echoing a collective frustration, the deputy editor-in-chief at Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing Bureau exclaimed on his Sina Weibo, “What kind of era do we live in today! Still want to control people’s minds?”

Censorship is the status quo in the PRC, but to what ends are such actions aimed? In this case, it can’t be to deny reality. Beijing’s bars and clubs often publicize their “gay nights,” and the neon signs of sex shops dot the city. And do the powers that be truly believe that James Bond gunning down a Chinese bodyguard to be some sort of slight to the Republic, which the public is too impressionable to experience?

Censorship in the film industry is so particularly backward and obvious because it’s the easiest to control, with a limited number of foreign films allowed to premiere in China. But with each cut, China is embarrassed on the world stage.

Then again, slimming down a plodding three-hour Wachowski flick might be a blessing in disguise. If you’ve seen the movie, let us know. (Please, no spoilers.)

    6 Responses to “Anyone Seen The China Version Of Cloud Atlas? You Know, The Version Missing 38 Minutes”

    1. Yanuopek

      Well, despite the fact that censorship is bad … It’s a terrible movie anyway. Never been so bored in a (Western, non-censored) cinema. So no one’s missing out on something …

    2. TAR Nation

      I’m a big fan of the book and have thus been putting off watching the film. It has certainly divided some very influential and critics and reviewers. I will say that, while reading it, the thought crossed my mind: “You would have to be mentally disabled to think this can be made into a movie.” My pirated copy is a Russian rip, so we shall see.

    3. nonracist

      The film is racist, it should be cut. The sex scenes were like 5 minutes so obviously they cut a lot more than sex scenes.

    4. Seqa

      I went to see it on Tuesday, not knowing that it had been censored for its China release. Glad I only paid half price to see it as it was confusingly horrible. It COULD have been a cool movie if it wasn’t so confusing… My friend and I tried to make sense of it afterward… Little sense was made.

      I’m probably going to seek out an online option to watch the movie in its full form now that I know it was censored.


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