The French director of Wolf Totem, an adaptation of Lu Jiamin’s 2004 novel, says that Chinese censors granted him “carte blanche” on the project, though he acknowledged that this “may have been an exception.” From Michael Martina at Reuters:
An environmental cautionary tale that pits a pack of wolves against an influx of settlers to the grasslands during the late 1960’s Cultural Revolution, the 2004 bestselling novel also includes critiques of Chinese culture and governance, and favorable allusions to democracy.
[…] “What I can say is that I had carte blanche at every level until this day. The movie you see is the same movie I cut,” Annaud told Reuters in an interview in Beijing ahead of the film’s release in China later this month.
The book won the first Man Asian Literary Prize in 2007. The author, Lu, a retired professor, has since affirmed he had been jailed for his involvement in the 1989 democracy protests around Tiananmen Square.
[…] Much like the book, Annaud’s approximately $40 million movie, backed by the state-run China Film Group, deals with conservation themes head on, though it largely avoids the book’s more subtle political issues. [Source]
The film’s trailer: