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'No Man's Land' released after four-year-hiatus

2013-12-05 09:43:22

(China Daily) By Liu Wei


Director Ning Hao says that he is more prepared for changes in the future. (China Daily)

It was indeed a work that could only be made by a young director on top of the world, who thinks it is the best time to share his understanding of humanity with those worshipping him, even if the way he tells it could challenge the status quo.

The film was not released as Ning planned. Authorities did not release official statements, but Zhao Baohua, member of the censorship committee, gave some hints in his blog in 2010.

"In Ning Hao's No Man's Land, people loot and kill. They are lawless. There is no character who is not depraved."

The film's other star Huang Bo explained it in a more explicit way: "As China has no rating system, some scenes in this film will indeed cause unpleasant feelings for younger audiences."

According to insiders who have seen both the original and the theatrical versions, some violent takes were given a milder treatment, and a new, warmer ending brings more hope.

Ning would rather consider the changes as "essential" if the film is to meet mainstream audience. "The current ending is an effort to avoid misunderstanding. I am not making an anti-human film. It may not be as subtle as the original ending, but does not change the story's core values-we need redemption to curb the evilness of our animal instincts."

When the film was made in 2009, it cost 16 million yuan. Today, the same amount could barely cover even the marketing and distribution budget of a typical film.

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