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'Django' screenings in China suspended


09:25, April 12, 2013

Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" was supposed to hit Chinese cinemas. (Photo/

After winning two Academy Awards, Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" was supposed to hit Chinese cinemas today, but was soon dramatically taken down after its morning screenings.

According to insiders at China's various theater chains, the film's distributors China Film Group and Huaxia Film Distribution Co. asked theater bosses to suspend the showings of "Django Unchained" at 9 a.m.

Several dramatic scenes occurred at theaters across China today, with shocked audiences in Beijing and Guangzhou stating on their microblogs that they had just watched the film for one minute when the lights went back on and theater staff told them showings had been cancelled and asked them to leave.

The film's distributors said this happened due to "technical reasons," while Columbia Pictures declined to respond.

Moviegoers and Internet users are outraged by the cancellations and media speculations said the Chinese authorities may have just realized there might be one or two seconds of nudity still in the movie -- which will in fact not affect people’s enjoyment of the movie.

At the same time, some Chinese domestic film rivals of "Django Unchained" may have been pushing for maximum benefits and the best showing schedules for their own productions so they stabbed "Django" in the back, one industry insider told

Theater staffs across China are shocked and furious, one anonymous staff member in Beijing told that due to Tarantino’s fame and this award-winning film, they had originally arranged for a heavy screening rotation. "We can refund the tickets bought at counters but it will be very troublesome to refund those bought online," he said, "We have never seen this kind of situation before and I'm afraid many theaters cannot achieve their box office goal for this month due to the absence of 'Django'."

The anonymous theater staffer also revealed, "It's absolutely not for any 'technical reason.' We'll be severely punished if we continue showing the film. It doesn't make sense if it is just a 'technical reason' as was reported. But if the film did have a problem, how did authorities not spot this when they imported and censored it? "

"Django Unchained" was supposed to hit Chinese theaters on April 11, 2013. But due to the current drama, a re-cut version may come back in theaters at the end of April – if ever.

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