August 21, 2020
The government seems to have given the green light to a long mistrusted genre – but it’s unclear what territory the new breed of blockbusters will explore
To ideology and beyond: will Chinas sci-fi movies plot their own course?
You might think a nation that effectively banned science fiction for much of its history (during the Cultural Revolution, and for other periods) might hesitate before encouraging its film-makers to get their futuristic thinking caps on. But China’s communist government has apparently been inspired by the huge box office success of homegrown space blockbuster The Wandering Earth to issue guidelines aimed at emboldening directors and screenwriters who might be planning a follow-up.
Variety reports the official document “highlights how the sci-fi genre fits into the ruling Communist party’s broader ideological and technological goals”, which sounds suitably 1984. (Except that George Orwell’s seminal dystopian tome is frowned upon in China, to the extent that authorities at once point last year stopped Social Media users from being able to type out its title in reference to an abolition of presidential term limits; strangely enough, the book itself is not banned.)
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