Attempting to put an end to the mainland distribution of unauthorized domestic and foreign documentaries and other audiovisual works about China, China’s General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) issued orders yesterday that all audiovisual works (DVDs, CDs, etc) dealing with the Cultural Revolution and other “major topics” (重大选题) must be registered before distribution on the mainland. A GAPP official in charge of audiovisual and web publishing said that in order to boost sales a number of audiovisual publishers had produced or imported works without first obtaining permission [Chinese coverage here].

The term “major topics” refers in Chinese to works about high-level leaders current or past — generally, from the standing committee of the CPC – or important historical events like the Cultural Revolution that are still political sore spots. Films such as Carma Hinton’s documentary on the Cultural Revolution, Morning Sun, have circulated without approval and found audiences in China, media insiders said.

[Posted by David Bandurski, July 13, 2006, 12:20pm]