Bong Joon-ho's Palme d'Or winning film Parasite pulled out of Chinese Film Festival for 'technical reasons'
Parasite is the first South Korean film to receive the Palme d'Or, the highest honour at the Cannes Film Festival.
South Korean film Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho, has been pulled out of China’s FIRST Film Festival. The film, which won the Palme d'Or honour at Cannes Film Festival 2019, was originally scheduled to close the 10-day-long event in Xinig, Qinghai province, according to Variety.
In their statement released on social media, the festival organisers offered their apologises for the inconvenience. "The closing screening of Parasite originally scheduled for 28 July has been canceled for technical reasons," says the statement, writes Variety.
The dark comedy revolves around Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho) and his unemployed family as they become borderline obsessed with another family, which gets them entangled in an unexpected incident. It also features Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, and Park So-dam. The win for Parasite marked the first Korean film to ever receive the Palme. The film also marks Bong's first fully Korean film in the past decade after the 2017 Netflix drama Okja and the 2012 film Snowpiercer.
Variety notes that the term "technical reasons" has increasingly been used by China as a euphemism for censorship. Many other films have faced a similar fate, like Zhang Yimou's One Second screening was cancelled at Berlinale this February as well as Hong Kong director Derek Tsang's Better Days. Summer of Changsha was also pulled out of Cannes Un Certain section as it did not have the government's approval. In June, the premiere of Huayi Brothers’ The Eight Hundred was cancelled from the Shanghai Film Festival. Its release in theatres was also stalled.
Indiewire reports that this is not the first time Joon-ho's film has faced censorship. His film Snowpiercer was "held hostage" by the now defunct The Weinstein Company for two years before its release. It remains one of the highest grossing South Korean films, hauling a whopping $12 million opening (considering inflation rates, it amounts to $15 million today).
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