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CONTROVERSIAL FILMS WIN TOP CHINESE AWARDS

<i> From Reuters </i>

China has awarded its Golden Roosters, giving its 1985 best film award to a controversial movie that raised the hackles of Peking hard liners with its tale of spouse swapping and capitalism.

The New China News Agency said the best feature film award went to “Wild Mountain,” which deals with the impact of China’s economic reforms on two peasant couples. Film industry sources said the film aroused opposition from elements in the Communist Party who accept such reforms reluctantly, but in the end the recommendations of the film industry judging panel were respected.

The two couples in the film end up divorcing, swapping partners and remarrying, with one couple launching into bold business activities against the wishes of their more conservative former spouses.

The analysts said that apart from the morality aspects, party conservatives objected because the film might encourage peasants to branch out into new business enterprises at the expense of grain production.

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The leading actor in another controversial film, “The Black Cannon Incident,” won the award for best male performance.

The film tells how an innocent man falls under suspicion of being a spy because of a trivial incident and is investigated endlessly by the authorities without being told about the allegations against him.

The monthly Hong Kong magazine the Nineties has reported that Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping intervened to support the film because of its criticism of bureaucratic excesses.


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