Beijing-based filmmaker Fan Popo, whose gay rights documentary was removed from Chinese video streaming websites, has claimed victory in a lawsuit over government censorship despite the courts ruling that regulators were not to blame.
In its verdict released last week, Beijing’s No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court found censors had not ordered his documentary “Mama Rainbow” to be taken down from prominent streaming websites Youku, Tudou and 56.com.
Prior to filing the lawsuit, Fan had been told by two of the major streaming platforms that they had received a document from SAPPRFT ordering the removal of the film. He filed a request in February for information from the regulator, but they denied ever releasing such a document.
Fan, 30, moved from the Jiangsu province to Beijing to study film, and has been campaigning for gay representation in the industry for eight years. First released in 2012, Mama Rainbow documents the real life stories of six mothers and their gay children.
“I hope that my case can serve as catalyst to inspire more people to stand up against SAPPRFT for content we care about,” Fan told the Wall Street Journal.
The verdict still poses the question as to who, if anyone, ordered his film to be taken offline. “I still think the verdict is to my advantage, because now knowing the agency did not release any document, I can require the video sites to put my film back,” said Fan.
Here is Fan’s documentary “Mama Rainbow” for your 100 percent uncensored viewing pleasure: