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No Da Vinci Code For You!
June 9, 2006 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Despite its success as a book [NPR] and early cinematic success, China has banned the Da Vinci Code movie [NYT] after protests from Catholics. Are you living in China and want to see it? Try the black market.
posted by grapefruitmoon (25 comments total)

 
I always hold out hope these are Catholics with taste, or maybe catholics, but we never get together anymore. Even though we have Sundays free.
posted by yerfatma at 9:30 AM on June 9, 2006


So the Catholics are controlling the Chinese government now?
posted by klarck at 9:31 AM on June 9, 2006


Interesting -- The Chinese government has never been particularly sensitive to religious sensibilities before. All in all, a disquieting development -- it encourages more minorities to threaten "social instability" if their own particular religion is offended. I don't like where this is going.
posted by QuietDesperation at 9:46 AM on June 9, 2006


It's worth noting that the Vatican has been highly critical of the Chinese government for installing bishops in the "official" Chinese Catholic church. This might be a move towards appeasement; if so, it's pretty goddamn naive. I don't thing the Pope is going to forgive direct interference in the Church's organization just because the Chinese government bans a stupid movie.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:53 AM on June 9, 2006


Highly critical is a bit of an understatement. A bishop installed by order of the Chinese government has no more legitimacy within the institution than one installed by Geo Bush. Moreover, I'm calling bullshit on reports of militant Catholics planning to burn down movie theatres. That's never been their MO.
posted by klarck at 10:03 AM on June 9, 2006


This might be a move towards appeasement; if so, it's pretty goddamn naive. I don't thing the Pope is going to forgive direct interference in the Church's organization just because the Chinese government bans a stupid movie.

Soon, China will feel the Pope's wrath as he marches his many legions into the middle of Beijing and sacks the city in the name of the Lord.

Naive, indeed!
posted by fusinski at 10:05 AM on June 9, 2006


Pakistan, too. When I told my GF they did it because of protests from the Christian minority, she said, "Oh, that's so sweet of Pakistan!"
posted by brownpau at 10:06 AM on June 9, 2006


It seems strange that China and India are the countries that have have been most critical of the movie...

So where were the raging masses threatening the makers of the Da Vinci Code with murder and beheading?

strange these differences between christian - and muslim cultures
posted by jouke at 10:09 AM on June 9, 2006


Banning something seems to be a pretty good way to keep it popular and make it more dangerous (see Prohibition). What is it about censorship that makes it keep seeming like a good idea?
posted by cubby at 10:20 AM on June 9, 2006


My only consolation is that a friend in Singapore tells me that my website has just been banned (censored). I am sure the Chinese got did not ban the film on the basis of placating the Church, but the book and the film are deservedly banned on artistic grounds.
posted by Postroad at 10:23 AM on June 9, 2006


I suspect that the real reason it took them 22 days to get round to banning it was that it took them that long to get the censors out of the coma that the film put them in.

As Mark Kermode at the BBC put it... There was Paul Bettany as an Albino Monk, naked and flagellating himself... and I was bored!
posted by itsjustanalias at 10:29 AM on June 9, 2006


Dan Brown, 2016.
posted by brownpau at 10:29 AM on June 9, 2006


After seeing the movie, I seriously don't understand what Catholics have against it. Not only is it simply iterating information that is already found in the "other gospels", but it encourages people to be inquisitive about the origins and the vast history of the Catholic church.

Sure, it maligns the OD group, but they should be the ones offended by it. The rest of the movie is plainly pro-Catholic, and in a broader sense, pro-Christian.
posted by thanotopsis at 10:32 AM on June 9, 2006


...it encourages people to be inquisitive about the origins and the vast history of the Catholic church. Thanatopsis, you answered your own question.
posted by QuietDesperation at 10:35 AM on June 9, 2006


A bishop installed by order of the Chinese government has no more legitimacy within the institution than one installed by Geo Bush.

Yes and no. The church has plenty of experience with governments appointing clergy. They'll work with them.
posted by empath at 11:16 AM on June 9, 2006


"Is Wal-Mart a Christian company? No," said former Wal-Mart executive Don Soderquist at a recent prayer breakfast. "But the basis of our decisions was the values of Scripture."

Maybe Walmart had a hand in this?

In India, there is a large population of Catholics in Goa but over all less than 2% of the country is Catholic.
India has had a lot of religious/political strife, maybe it was a decision not to add fuel to that?

Censorship of this movie in China, Pakistan and India seems quite strange.

Thanatopsis, you answered your own question.

Good point.
posted by nickyskye at 11:56 AM on June 9, 2006


Seems to me the Chinese government is looking out for its people.

Sometimes I wish bad movies were banned here. Then they couldn't make 100s of millions of dollars and spawn sequels.
posted by graventy at 12:22 PM on June 9, 2006


China has a black market?
posted by squirrel at 12:25 PM on June 9, 2006


graventy beat me to my wisecrack
posted by creeptick at 1:29 PM on June 9, 2006


Actually, they have a more thriving grey market.
posted by RavinDave at 1:37 PM on June 9, 2006


New phrase for me, "grey market". Thanks RavinDave.
posted by nickyskye at 2:18 PM on June 9, 2006


It was a featured "Buzzword" in the Shanghai Daily newspaper some weeks back ... which I think we can take to mean that the government wants to drop the hammer on it.

Good luck. ;)
posted by RavinDave at 2:37 PM on June 9, 2006


"It treats our religion in a unscientific way"

(use of a swhat?)
posted by dorian at 3:17 PM on June 9, 2006


Too bad the FPP's reason is wrong:
BEIJING (Reuters) - China ordered cinemas to pull the plug on controversial blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" so as to allow more exposure for homegrown films, a state newspaper said on Friday.

The decision came after calls from several groups representing the Chinese film industry, the official English-language China Daily said, although it suggested the movie could continue to be shown.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:57 PM on June 9, 2006


pmurray: Did you read any of the links? Your link is all well and good, but there's plenty of reporting to suggest that they were pressured by the Catholic Church.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:47 AM on June 10, 2006


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