Banned Chinese films

sara seten berghausen (
Wed, 2 Oct 2002 13:50:44 -0700 (PDT)

Hello Videolibbers,

I'd love to hear your opinions about this situation....

My colleague, our Chinese Studies librarian, is very interested in adding
several Chinese film titles to the collection, all of which have been
banned by the Chinese government. No "legal" copies are therefore
available for purchase; however, she's located a vendor (based in the US)
who has pirated copies of these titles for sale.

We would both very much like to add these titles to the collection, not
least because faculty are clamoring for them, and research interest in them
on campus is extensive. The fact that the films have been banned for
political reasons, and that the filmmakers themselves may very well welcome
the wider distribution of these films, is also encouraging me to take a
risk in this case--but the issues involved are obviously complex. (I could
make a crack about the Chinese government's notorious lack of attention to
US copyright law, but I shouldn't....) Frankly, copyright seems a small
consideration compared to the larger issues at hand. A few of the titles
are below, in case any of you know Chinese. What would YOU do?! Thanks
for any words of wisdom,


Xiao wu
Wu shan yun yu
Dong gong xi gong
Gui zi lai le

Sara Seten Berghausen
Librarian for Literature & Theater Studies, Interim Film/Video Librarian

Reference Department, 113 Perkins Library, Box 90175
919-660-5881, Fax 919-684-2855
108 Lilly Library, Box 90725
919-660-5886, Fax 919-660-5999
Duke University Libraries
Durham, NC 27708