Hong Kong authorities to censor films that ‘endanger national security’

2 days ago

Hong Kong censors are to vet all films for national security breaches under exped powers in the latest blow to the city’s political artistic freedoms.

Authorities in semi-autonomous Hong Kong have embarked on a sweeping crackdown to root out Beijing’s critics after huge often violent democracy protests convulsed the city in 2019.

A new China-imposed security law an official campaign dubbed “Patriots rule Hong Kong” has since criminalised much dissent strangled the democracy movement. The latest target is films.

In a statement on Friday, the government said the film censorship ordinance had been exped to include “any act or activity which may amount to an offence endangering national security”.

“When considering a film as a whole its effect on the viewers, the censor should have regard to his duties to prevent suppress acts or activities endangering national security, the common responsibility of the people of Hong Kong to safeguard the sovereignty, unification territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China,” the new guidance, which is effective immediately, states.

Films are rigorously vetted on the Chinese mainl only a hful of western films or documentaries ever see a commercial release each year. Hong Kong’s Film Censorship Authority has traditionally employed a much lighter touch.

Yet t are growing signs of mainl-style controls over the cultural art scenes in Hong Kong.

In March, an award-winning documentary about Hong Kong’s massive pro-democracy protests was pulled hours before its first commercial screening after days of criticism from a pro-Beijing newspaper. It said the film’s content breached the new national security law.

Earlier this year a university cancelled a prestigious press photography exhibition that featured pictures of the 2019 protests, citing security concerns.

And M+, a multimillion-dollar contemporary art museum expected to open soon, has said it will allow security officials to vet its collection for any security law breaches before it opens to the public later this year.

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