Chinese filmmaker Fan Popo is suing China’s State Administration of Press Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) for censoring his 2012 documentary about LGBT issues in China.
“Mama Rainbow” was released in the USA back in May 2013. In 2015, SARFT ordered Chinese websites to remove the film and shield it from view in China.
Homosexuality is still a major taboo in China. The documentary looks at people’s broadening views on homosexuality in China, featuring six mothers who all openly accept their children’s homosexuality. Upon discovering that his documentary had been censored online, Fan sent a formal letter to SARFT on February 12th. The department wrote back to him on March 2nd confirming its decision to shield the documentary.
With the aid of his lawyer, Wang Zhenyu, Fan officially filed a lawsuit against SARFT on September 8th and the court formally accepted the case on September 14th. The director hopes to win back more than 100,000 RMB if the court case (somehow) goes in his favor.
After a student sued the ministry of education for calling homosexuality a “disorder” in school textbooks in August and the first gay-themed film was officially approved for release in China earlier this month, Fan doesn’t have a zero percent chance.
Also, check out this new Al Jazeera documentary about a man who waged a legal war against a Chinese ‘gay conversion’ clinic and actually came out victorious.
by Daniel Cunningham