CCTV Airs V for Vendetta

The logo, with a vendetta.

, the 2005 about a secretive, anti-totalitarian masked crusader, has long been banned in China. So when CCTV aired the uncut today, viewers couldn’t believe their eyes. The event is now the second-most discussed topic on Weibo.

The official Weibo account @CCTV6WatchMoviesonTV announced this breakthrough moment:

CCTV6WatchMoviesonTV: V for Vendetta is on tonight at 9:52 p.m. We’ll post the plot synopsis in advance. Movie-lovers, get ready for a treat!

CCTV6打开电视看电影:《V字别动队》今晚21:52播出,提前预告剧情,影迷们可以先过过瘾哦

CCTV acknowledges that plenty of people have seen V for Vendetta despite the ban. Pirated DVDs and downloads make it easy for savvy people to see any film or TV show they like.

CCTV6’s weibo was reposted over 400 times, but has zero comments. It’s likely any comments posted were deleted.

Shocked netizens are wondering what this moment could mean for the future of in China:

NotKouDe: These past few months, not only has CCTV broadcasted an interview with “Labor Camp University Village Official Ren Jianyu,” last night they also aired a film that is considered a metaphorical criticism of government–“V For Vendetta.” It’s been one unbelievable action after another! Could they be testing the waters for greater room for free speech? Or perhaps this was just the new leadership trying to butter up us rabble?

我不是寇德:最近这个月,央视不仅播放了被“劳教的大学村官任建宇”的采访,昨晚更是播放了被认为是带有暗喻政府意味的#V字仇杀队#,接二连三让人惊讶的行为,这会是言论放宽的探路石么?又或者只是新领导上台给我等屁民的一点甜头而已?

HulijunBigAdventure: Artists use lies to tell the truth. Politicians use lies to cover up the truth. In an unprecedented move, CCTV broadcasted “V For Vendetta” for the very first time, and it’s cause for celebration. It has given people hope for reform. Ideas are bulletproof.

狐狸君的人生大冒险:艺术家用谎言道出真相,政客用谎言掩盖真相。央视第一次在大陆破天荒地播放《V字仇杀队》是可喜可贺的,让人民看到了改革的希望。思想是不怕子弹的。

BeijingGrassrootsPeoplesRadio: At 10 p.m. this evening, CCTV will broadcast the film V For Vendetta. Because of this film’s anti-dictatorship, freedom-fighting message, it was previously banned by the government. Although everyone online is very familiar with the film, this is its first open broadcasted on television–by none other than CCTV. Does this signal that the government will relax its control of the media and the Internet a bit? Let’s all tune in at 10 and witness this historical moment together.

北 京草根人民广播电台:今天晚上十点,CCTV6将播出电影《V字仇杀队》,这部反对独裁,争取自由的电影历来是被政府列为禁片的,虽然在网络上为众人所熟 知,但是在大陆公开放映这还是第一次,并且还在中央电视台,这似乎也向大家传递出一个信号,政府对于媒体和网络的管制在一点点解除?十点让我们来一起见证 这一历史性的时刻。

HammerheadScrewdriver: Holy crap! Later tonight I’ll to have go check to see if it was cut off.

锤子头镰刀刃:我擦,今晚上回去看看有没有删改. (12月14日 16:28)

“CCTV airs V for Vendetta” is the second-most discussed topic on Weibo right now.

In fact, it wasn’t cut off.

Qiushuidanyuou: December 21, 2012 is coming! Unbelievably, Imperial Court TV is going to broadcast V For Vendetta! And to think, when I wrote an online review of the movie back in the day, it was deleted.

秋水淡于鸥:2012,12,21就要到了~朝廷台居然也放V字仇杀队了,想当年我写在天涯的影评都被结扎了

Some people have pointed out that CCTV has rendered the film’s title as “V Commando Team” (V字别动队), instead of using the common “V Revenge Killing Squad” (V字仇杀队):

ZhanZhaofengNoSuspense: #V Commando Team# Christ, what is this “V Commando Team” crap? They can’t even type out the two characters for “vendetta”?

湛兆丰无悬念:#V字仇杀队# 天,什么V字别动队,仇杀两个字不能打出来么

Netizens who have scaled the wall are sharing their excitement on Twitter:

chengjunjie001: Even something like “V For Vendetta” can be aired on CCTV now. Could this be sign the new leadership team has really committed to enacting reform? Unless this was just another temp worker mistake…

wenyunchao: CCTV6 aired the entirety of V for Vendetta, and didn’t cut it off in the middle.

hu_jia: This great film couldn’t be any more appropriate for our current situation. Dictators, prisons, secret police, control of the media, man-made disasters, eliminating “heretics”… terror, evasion, questioning lies, victory over fear, resistance, overthrowing tyranny… So, too, is the relationship between China’s dictators and its citizens.

@Kunshou shared a Photoshopped version of Xinwen Lianbo, paraphrasing the scene in which V hijacks the state broadcasting system to issue a call for revolution:

Back on Weibo, Southern Weekend elicited hopeful comments from its readers:

SouthernDaily: -CCTV Airs “V Commando Team”- People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.–V Commando Team will air on the evening of December 14 on CCTV6. As one Internet user said, “[The protagonist] is a terrorist, a crazy person, a gentleman, a thinker, a revolutionary and, in the eyes of the government, a major villain. He symbolizes resistance and advocates the use of violence to liberate the minds of an oppressed people. Tonight, CCTV’s broadcast has many Internet users feeling ‘very surprised.’”

南方日报:【央视播出“V字 别动队”】人民不应该害怕政府,政府应该害怕人民——V字别动队(12月14日晚CCTV6)原名“V字仇杀队”。有网友评价说:他是一名恐怖分子,疯 子,绅士,思想家,革命家,政府眼里的大反派。他象征反抗,崇尚暴力主义来解放被压迫的人民的心灵。今晚,央视播出让很多网友“很意外”。

This reader rejoices:

Jingtingsongfeng: Sooner or later, there will come a day when we’ll all become V!

靜聽松風-:终有一天,我们都会变成V!

Translation by Little Bluegill.