BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Chinese hack film festival site
“Hey, we’re an independent arts organisation and it’s our programme!”
See, this is where censorship, or any kind of State attempts to control information, leads, and this is where State sovereignty (a ridiculous concept in any case) ends.
Chinese officials who do not care to see a documentary, the contents of which bother them, in a country in which the access to information is not tightly controlled are welcome not to attend. Frankly, political pressure to whitewash an issue which no first-rank politician seems to have the moral fibre to address forthrightly is unseemly at best, and offensive in any case.
One day, politicians must be confronted with this simple fact: In this age, information about any subject can and will get out. No state has the wherewithal to silence their people completely.
A corollary of this: violent suppression of any form of dissent, irrespective of whether it is justified, by state authorities *will* be reported on, and no amount of ignoring it, propaganda or information control will change that.
Likewise, public opinion generally finds itself on the side of protestors, rather than an oppressive state. No amount of wordplay will change that.
In particular in liberal democracies, the populace is on the by and large wise to propaganda, and this is where, sadly, oppressive régimes do their people the most damage. In keeping their people uninformed, they are holding them back; and that breeds resentment.
And resentment cannot be suppressed. Especially not by putting pressure on a foreign film festival. The organisers are quite right in telling the Chinese government to get stuffed.