Media & Communications Law

Missing Movie Sex Scenes Prompt Suit

Steamy sex scenes cut from the Chinese version of a World War II-era spy thriller set in Shanghai have prompted both warnings (for the many who have searched the Web or traveled to neighboring Hong Kong to view the full, uncensored film) not to imitate those scenes at home—and at least one lawsuit.

But the suit concerning Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution isn’t a U.S.-style claim that unwary viewers have unwittingly tried a dangerous stunt at home, not realizing it was performed onscreen by skilled professionals. Instead, a graduate law student has contended that the censored version of the movie infringes on his rights, as a consumer, to see the full uncut film, reports the London Times and Reuters.

In the incomplete version of the film, law student Dong Yanbin argues, the “fragmented portrayal of the female lead’s psyche makes it hard for the audience to appreciate the movie’s art.” Saying that he was “greatly disappointed after seeing the movie,” he is seeking $90 in psychological damages, according to Reuters.

His lawsuit names as defendants a cinema chain and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, which oversees film censorship. It isn’t certain, however, that the suit will be accepted by the court.

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