Film Forum Raises Enormous Middle Finger In General Direction of China

by |
02/04/2010 4:12 PM |

This still from City of Life and Death seemed apropos.
  • This still from City of Life and Death seemed apropos.

City of Life and Death, a Chinese historical drama centered around the Rape of Nanking, from art-blockbuster director Lu Chuan, garnered positive to very positive reviews on last fall’s festival circuit and was set to open at Film Forum on March 31. Last month, the state-run China Film Group withdrew the film from the Palm Springs International Film Festival, in protest over Palm Springs’ screenings of the self-explanatorily titled doc The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom, which features extensive interviews with the Dalai Lama. (This wasn’t the first time China has done something like this.)

Today, Film Forum sent out an announcement: “The distributor of City of Life and Death recently informed Film Forum that they are unable to open the film as scheduled on March 31.” The distributor would be National Geographic Films; after Palm Springs, there was some speculation that the incident might hold up or hash the distribution deal.

In the same announcement, Film Forum also revealed the film that will fill the newly vacated 3/31 slot on their first-run calendar: The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom.