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The question of introducing a film rating system in China has been a long-running issue. Officials say the possibility remains unlikely at the moment. This was the message at Thursday's press conference on cultural development.
Gone are the days when movies in China could only deal with revolutionary themes.
With new generations of filmmakers eager to express themselves, some previously taboo themes are now making more frequent appearances in theaters across the nation.
So it's no wonder that the debate on whether to establish the country's first film rating system is becoming more and more heated.
One journalist raised the question at Thursday's press conference on cultural development.
But officials say the time hasn't yet arrived.
Zhao Shi, Vice Minister of State Administration of Radil, Film, & Television, said, "Theoretically, a film rating system is able to meet the demands of people at different ages and social levels. But in practice, we haven't seen many successful examples.
In countries using film rating systems, it's still hard to prevent teenagers from watching movies they're not supposed to see. From our research, we believe it's not proper for the Chinese cinema industry to adopt a rating system right now."
This opinion is echoed by many others.
Their concerns include asking whether a rating system would encourage more violent and obscene elements in movies.
And some filmmakers worry about losing their audience if a rating system is created.
Liu Zheng is a director working on a new production, the main theme of which is warning teenagers about the dangers of the cyberworld.
Liu said, "There is already a censorship system. What's the point of a rating system? Once films are rated, adult audiences would never want to attend pictures like the one I'm producing now."
But Zhang Xiaolin, a veteran film editor, offers a different view ...
Zhang said, "Under the current censorship system, producers of some low quality films have learned to take advantage of people's curiosity by claiming their films were banned.
In that way, their films attract larger audiences through unofficial channels than they would otherwise have been able to get. Therefore, a rating system is needed."
With or without a rating system, a film's ability to fill seats ultimately depends on its quality.