CATEGORIES Movies
AvatarIt may be days away from becoming the biggest film in movie history, but that's not stopped controversy surrounding Avatar.

Following accusations of racism in the plot and motion sickness in the audience, James Cameron's sci-fi epic now appears to have offended those happy go lucky folks in the Chinese government who have pulled Avatar from their cinema screens because they believe its plot will lead to civil unrest. AvatarIt may be days away from becoming the biggest film in movie history, but that's not stopped controversy surrounding Avatar.

Following accusations of racism in the plot and motion sickness in the audience, James Cameron's sci-fi epic now appears to have offended those happy go lucky folks in the Chinese government who have pulled Avatar from their cinema screens because they believe its plot will lead to civil unrest.

According to Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper, the Chinese government is concerned with the possibility of parables between the Na'vi (the indigenous population of the planet Pandora who must fight to maintain their way of life in the face of a human military operation) and Chinese residents who have to put up with aggressive repopulation by property developers. Apparently, the fear is that the film may "lead audiences to think about forced removal, and may possibly incite violence."

As a result, the state-run movie distributor China Film group is removing Avatar - already the most successful film of all time in China - from 1,628 2-D screens this week allowing only the 3D version to be distributed. And as so few cinemas in China have 3D technology, this effectively means that Cameron's movie is banned.

So what can the Chinese movie going public look forward to in place of blue environmentalists and a paraplegic Sam Worthington? Well, they'll get to see a biopic of Confucius directed by Hu Mei and starring Chow Yun-fat which is already breaking Chinese box office records.

Although not getting to see a sci-fi movie in itself isn't a big deal, the symbolism is. And if the uproar caused by certain elements of Avatar's plot has shown us, symbolism counts.