Tainted Love by the Dye Vat

A Chinese drama is lauded in Hollywood but banned in Beijing

Sometimes people don't notice a good movie until somebody bad steps on it. To Western eyes, Zhang Yimou's Ju Dou might seem to be just another pretty retelling of a familiar triangle: a young woman, her elderly husband and her lover. Ju Dou plays like Phaedra mixed with The Postman Always Rings Twice -- until the woman bears a son who grows ripe with vengeance, and the movie becomes a bitter Bad Seed.

But after Ju Dou was nominated for a foreign-film Oscar last month, the Chinese authorities insisted that it be withdrawn from consideration. (The Motion Picture Academy rejected the...

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