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The Melbourne Film Festival's Pride and Prejudice
After reading about the hacking of the Melbourne International Film Festival's website in The Age last week, I went looking on Baidu News for some news on the subject. The site had only been hacked a few hours earlier, so most of the articles I found only stated that the site had been hacked, probably by Chinese hackers, and replaced with a Chinese flag and some slogans in English.

Digging a little deeper I found an opinion piece published in the forum section of the Eastday website, originally from Xinhuanet, which I've translated below.

The Melbourne Film Festival's Pride and Prejudice

Source: Xinhua Net
Author: Feng Chuangzhi

26/7/2009, 10:43am

In order to protest against the 28th Melbourne International Film Festival for screening and publicising an "East Turkistan" separatist documentary film, Chinese directors Jia Zhangke, Zhao Liang and Hong Kong (China) director Tang Xiao have, of their own accord, withdrawn all films that were to be screened in the Melbourne International Film Festival in mid August. The films withdrawn include Perfect Life directed by Tang Xiaobai, Cry Me a River directed by Jia Zhangke, and Petition, directed by Zhao Liang. People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) member and noted director Feng Xiaoning said angrily: "The Melbourne organising committee's actions are undoubtedly an open provocation."

In withdrawing the films from screening, Jia Zhangke, Zhao Liang and Tang Xiaobai represent the protest of the Chinese people against the "pride and prejudice" of the Melbourne Film Festival.

In the Western arts world there are those who often attack Chinese art productions for propagating mainstream values, whilst they on the other hand bring politics into their own artistic activities. These people not only flood their artistic activities with their own personal prejudice and ignorance, politically they also subvert the ideologies of other countries, openly trampling upon human rights and supporting terrorist influences. Some "elites" of the West have absolutely no understanding of the history, current situation or the truth of events in other countries. Their interest is in remaking other countries according to their own values, and humiliating other ethnic groups. In order to realise their political goals, they have no misgivings about whether their actions trample upon human rights or support terrorism. The Melbourne Film Festival is simply a small Australian film festival with no world standing. But their elaborate plan to take advantage of political events in order to expand their festival's influence goes to show that some Western artists will stop at nothing to enhance their own name and interests.

Under the pretence of the so-called "universal values" of "democracy, freedom, equality and fraternity", the West has long posed as "defender of human rights". Taking up a cloak of "culture", it attacks and stifles China and other countries with values different to its own. Anyone who protests or who refuses to submit to their rule is subject to their wanton mud-slinging and slander. The withdrawal of films by these Chinese directors expresses the rightful dissatisfaction against this hypocrisy and prejudice.

In the eyes of all Chinese people of all ethnicities, people like Rebiya Kadeer seek to split the country and plot terrorist activities. Allowing a person like Kadeer to freely walk Melbourne is equal and no different to a country recognising the legitimacy of a "terrorist group". In 2005, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed resolution 1624, strongly condemning actions that incite terrorism, and renouncing any attempt to defend or eulogise terrorist acts, further pointing out that these actions serve to incite further terrorist acts. Why is it, then, that the Melbourne International Film Festival turns a blind eye, and so enthusiastically exalts Kadeer, a woman who incites violent terror? This can only mean that the West judges with double standards. The West harbours a hidden resentment of the completely unified territory of China and its daily advancing prosperity, and constantly seeks to throw China's stable unity into disarray by propping-up these influences.

The economic and cultural fronts of Western society echo one another, and so Western society backs-up Rebiya Kadeer. But the Chinese people will not be afraid, as the schemes of people like Rebiya Kadeer cannot prevail. The decision of Chinese directors to withdraw all their films from the Melbourne International Film Festival in mid-August is a just and righteous act. This act also serves to demonstrate the Chinese people's integrity and resoluteness.

Click here for the original text in ChineseCollapse )

Please note: I'm not a professional translator. This translation will contain errors.


Xinhuanet: Xinhuanet is the website of China's official news agency, the Xinhua (literally "New China") News Agency.

East Turkistan: "East Turkistan" is a name used by those who support independence for China's north-western Xinjiang (in Chinese literally "New Frontier") autonomous region.

Quotation Marks: When reporting on concepts or entities that the Chinese government doesn't recognise, Chinese news generally makes use of enclosing quotation marks ("") around the terms it doesn't agree with. Hence mainland Chinese news refers to the Taiwanese "President" or the Taiwanese "Ministry of Health", because the Chinese government does not consider Taiwan to be a country. Hence we also see here "East Turkistan" placed inside quotation marks. It seems to me as though this use of quotation marks may serve as a subtle form of ridicule, but that's only my own feeling.

Pride and Prejudice: I've seen this term used before when talking about why the iPhone is not yet available in China. The article's charge was (mainly) that it was because of the "pride and prejudice" of Apple and Steve Jobs. I can only presume that somewhere along the line Chinese writers and/or media picked up the term from the title of the book and started using it in news articles.