SARFT giveth, and SARFT taketh away. On the day that Django Unchained was supposed to hit screens across China, Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar winning film was unceremoniously pulled from cinemas.
“‘Django Unchained’, because of technical reasons, has been stopped from being shown nationwide for the time being,” the popular web portal Sina reported, citing a notice distributed to cinema companies.
It quoted unnamed industry insiders as saying that nudity prompted the sudden censorship and said it was not clear when the film would return to screens.
A user of China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblog service said he had been watching the film when “after just one minute it stopped!”
“Technical reasons”, sure. Sounds like someone at SARFT bothered to actually watch Django Unchained, which caused great surprise when it was revealed that it would open in China with only minor cuts. This is after all, the government agency which thought that uncensored versions of Cloud Atlas and Titanic 3D were too risqué for domestic audiences.
Tarantino himself reportedly oversaw the changes, including reducing the colour and frequency of blood spatters, deemed necessary to get it past Chinese censors.
Neither SARFT or local distributors Huaxia Film have commented at this time.