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The New Village Banned in Malaysia

Media Criticism Prompted Censor's Office to Act

It's probably another kind of freedom of press when newspapers go on the barricades against a movie in such an aggressive way that the censor's office checks it again and decides to ban it eventually. This happened in Malaysia with the historical drama The New Village.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that the film tells a love story in the '40s and '50s and initially got a "13" rating. But now it has been banned from screenings indefinitely. The movie takes place during the communist riots initiated by the Chinese minorities in the country that wanted to end the British reign. During this time, nearly 400.000 Chinese people were forced to relocate in so-called new villages so that they wouldn't come into contact with the (mostly Chinese) rebels.

After a conservative newspaper saw the trailer - but obviously not the whole film itself - it started attacking the movie in several op-ed articles and suspected that communism was shown in a too favorable light and that the rebels would be pictured as heroes. Tempted by these newspaper comments, the medial protest broadened.

Of course, the fact that the Malayan majority sees the Chinese rebels as traitors even though most citizens wanted independence from the British, plays a role here, as well. It becomes clear once more that the critical reprocessing of the own history is still impossible in some countries and even more so doesn't have a place in cinemas.

Release: Aug 07, 2013 - Author: Bob - Translator: Mike Lowrey - Source: THR

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