A still from 'Youth'

The release of respected Chinese filmmaker Feng Xiaogang’s movie Youth has been brought to a standstill. The movie, which dealt with the young people fighting off the ghosts of the past, has been abruptly halted.

The motion picture was due for release in China this weekend (September 29), and was expected to cash in on the lucrative National Day holiday on October 1. The decision to nix the film has come as a shock to all sections of the society, especially after considering the fact that it had already been given the green signal by China’s notorious censor board and had even recently screened at the Toronto Film Festival. Feng’s production house attributed it to “discussions with the film administration bureau and other relevant parties”.

A still from ‘Youth

According to experts, the movie, which is a tribute to the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War, has been dropped as a result of the upcoming National Congress of the Communist Party, which will begin on October 18. The War remains a touchy topic for many people in China, as it is perceived to be critical of the government.

The high-profile event, which takes place once every five years, is more than often accompanied by a severe crackdown on any form of dissent. The decision is likely to have come from the top brass of Chinese political leadership, as the movie had already been given the go-ahead by the censors.

War veterans have been some of the rare groups that have been vocal about their dissent regarding the treatment they have been meted out over the last few years. Insufficient compensation and social welfare benefits have been their major concerns.