According to a report in The Guardian, the Chinese superhit film Return to Dust, which depicts the challenges of life in the country’s rural areas, has disappeared from the nation’s theatres and internet. The film, which made more than 100 million yuan (about $14 million) at the box office and had its world premiere in February at the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival to rapturous acclaim, has since been removed from all streaming providers. Furthermore, it is currently illegal to talk about this movie on social media.
According to the Guardian article, viewers of “Return to Dust” commended it for its affecting and genuine portrayal of rural China. For the same reason, it has also come under fire from nationalistic voices who claim it unfairly portrays China.
The research says that China’s censorship of entertainment, which is often very sensitive, is mostly unclear and that it is often hard to tell if a removal was ordered by the government or if it was a choice made by a business.
The South China Morning Post claims “On September 26, the movie was pulled from theatres and abruptly removed from all streaming services in the nation. However, discussing the movie on social media is not forbidden. The lives of a poor couple in a remote town in Gansu province in the northwest of the country are used as a lens through which to evaluate the effects of the nation’s economic progress and fast urbanisation. ”
Ma Youtie and Cao Guiying are two newlyweds in an arranged marriage in rural China who discover love and loyalty to each other on the periphery of modern society. Their fictional story is told in the film. While the antagonist of the movie, a guy who wants to evict Youtie and Guiying from their house, drives a fancy car, while Youtie and Guiying struggle in their poverty and work the land with a donkey.