The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.
All websites must not report on the films “Our Youth in Taiwan” or “An Elephant Sitting Still.” (November 28, 2018) [Chinese]
The two films won top prizes at the Golden Horse Awards, an annual Chinese-language film festival and awards ceremony held in Taiwan, earlier this month. “Our Youth in Taiwan,” a film about the 2014 Sunflower Movement, took the prize for top documentary, and “An Elephant Standing Still,” a marathon drama based on director Hu Bo’s novel about four people trying to escape their respective lives in small town northern China, won the prize for best film (Hu Bo committed suicide in Beijing last year, and his mother accepted the award for him). An earlier leaked directive translated by CDT forbid the continued live-streaming and broadcast of the awards when “Our Youth in Taiwan” director Fu Yue expressed her hopes for Taiwan to be treated as “a truly independent entity” during her acceptance speech. A subsequent leaked directive, also translated by CDT, reminded the heads of major film companies that “all joint productions and domestic films will not be allowed to apply” for the ceremony in the future.
Earlier this week, major losses for Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in midterm elections were seen by many observers as a in for Beijing. After the election, President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as DPP leader.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth