By Tom Bannister
For the average authoritarian government film-lover, V for Vendetta has many hide-behind-the-sofa moments. However on Friday night the 2005 film was shown on Chinese state television for the first time, on TV channel CCTV 6. With its depiction of grassroots rebellion against a modern authoritarian government, it is not hard to see why its broadcast has provoked much debate amongst Chinese netizens. Many expressed surprise that the film had been allowed and quoted controversial lines from the film as evidence of how sensitive it should be. A much quoted line was “民不应该害怕政府，政府应该害怕人民” (A people shouldn’t fear their government, a government should fear the people). One user said that when he saw it: “I begin to suspect that I was dreaming!”, and another said:
Yesterday evening CCTV unexpectedly broadcast ‘V for Vendetta’ This is sooooo unbelievable! the most important lines from the film are that ‘people shouldn’t fear the government, the government should fear the people’, and that ‘ideas don’t fear bullets’
If my memory serves me correctly, this was a prohibited film before. There were too many lines in it about people demanding freedom, and people helping each other to eventually break out [from oppression]. The whole film is saturated with these themes.
Someone else said said:
CCTV has broadcast ‘V for Vendetta’. This makes netizens believe, people shouldnt fear their government, the government should fear the people! Love the V mask!