Chinese censors cut love scenes from "Cloud Atlas"

38 minutes were removed from the feature film

By Prachi Gupta
January 24, 2013 6:45PM (UTC)
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Chinese censors have cut 38 minutes of love scenes, both gay and straight, from the time-warping Wachowski siblings' drama, "Cloud Atlas."  The deleted scenes amount to more than 20 percent of the 172-minute film. While audiences are condemning the actions, however, "Cloud Atlas" executive producer Philip Lee has accepted the cut, saying that to enter China, the team knew it would have to "follow the censorship requirements" and that he's sure the Chinese distributor's cuts "will protect the integrity of the film makers."

Like most of its media, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television maintains a tight control over foreign influence. The AP explains:


China allows only 34 foreign films to be shown in its movie theaters each year and 14 of those have to be in 3D or IMAX format. However, pirated DVDs of Hollywood blockbusters are widely available in China, sometimes the result of recording films as they are shown in American or European movie theaters.

The government generally makes two types of cuts: scenes deemed too prurient and content seen as politically subversive. In fact, earlier this year, Chinese censors removed a scene from the Bond flick, "Skyfall," in which a Chinese officer was shot. The State Administration has made similar cuts in previously censored films, like "Men in Black: III," "Titanic 3D," "Life of Pi" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."

But for now, at least, Chinese denizens have a work-around to the censorship: Of "Cloud Atlas," Kong Kong, 27, told the AP, "The 172-minute version can be downloaded online ... so I am sure some people will prefer that to going to the cinema."

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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