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Pulled From Festival, Chinese Film Disappears From Film Forum

February 7, 2010

By DAVE ITZKOFF
The New York Times
February 5, 2010

Planned showings of a Chinese movie that was
abruptly pulled last month from the lineup at the
Palm Springs International Film Festival have
been canceled at Film Forum, which will instead
show a documentary about the Dalai Lama that
provoked the other movie’s withdrawal in Palm Springs.

In January, "City of Life and Death," a movie
about the 1937 Nanking massacre written and
directed by the Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, was
pulled from the Palm Springs festival, along with
"Quick, Quick, Slow," at the direction of China’s
ministry of foreign affairs and its film bureau.

At that time, festival representatives said that
the films were withdrawn to protest another film
being screend at the festival, "The Sun Behind
the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom,” by
Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, which chronicles a
year in the life of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader.

On Thursday, Film Forum said that its plans to
show "City of Life and Death" starting on March
31 had been canceled. In a telephone interview,
Mike Maggiore, a representative for Film Forum,
said the decision to pull the film was made by
its distributor, National Geographic Entertainment.

"Even though we had made an agreement to start
showing the film on March 31," Mr. Maggiore said,
"they were unable to guarantee that a print would be available at that date."

A representative for National Geographic said
that the company was still in negotiations with
the Chinese film board about showing the movie in
the Untied States and that those negotiations
were taking longer than anticipated.

Film Forum said that "The Sun Behind the Clouds"
would run from March 31 through April 13.
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