Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Propaganda for Profit

An article in the Economist about the state of the Chinese film industry discusses the easy money to be made by glorifying the Party and its history:

“The Beginning of the Great Revival”, a celebration of the founding of the Communist Party, opened at every cineplex in China on June 15th, in time for the party’s 90th birthday. Competing films with a shred of drawing power were blocked, even the awful “Transformers 3”. Many state-owned firms ordered their staff to attend. Schools organised trips so that pupils could watch and learn from the exploits of a youthful Mao Zedong. Government departments deployed waves of bureaucratic bottoms to fill seats. Online reviews alleging that the masterpiece was rather dull were censored. Success was assured.
Extra credit for pondering this:
Tickets to Chinese cinemas are costly—about 80 yuan at weekends. The lack of copyright protection means that almost all revenue must come from the box office rather than from DVDs or television.


David Chute said...

Interesting, though the tone is obnoxious. Certainly not an apologist for the PRC, but it should be possible to write this story a little less sneering. So in the end I'm not sure how much it can be trusted or how much I've realy learned.

Christian Lindke said...

Even better, the leading Piracy P2P service in China is going up on NASDAQ. You can invest in the ripping off of an American industry.