Tuesday, April 20, 1999 Published at 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Chinese films withdrawn from Cannes
The 52nd Cannes Film Festival runs from 12-23 May
The Chinese film director Zhang Yimou has withdrawn two of his most recent works from next month's Cannes Film Festival.
Zhang is one of China's few internationally recognised film directors. He shot to fame in the late 1980s with a the successful Red Sorghum (1987) and Raise the Red Lantern (1991).
According to state media reports the director has said he is pulling the films because of bias in the West against productions from communist China.
In a letter to festival directors Zhang said Cannes organisers had given his work political overtones.
"Everyone has their own opinion about whether a film is good or bad," he said.
"But what I cannot accept is that the West has for a long time politicised Chinese films. If they are not anti-government, they are just considered propaganda."
"I hope this bias can be slowly changed."
Zhang had problems with Chinese censors in 1995 after his film To Live was shown without their permission at the Cannes Film Festival.
One of the films the director has withdrawn is his latest work Not One Less, which premiered in Beijing last week. Using an all-amateur cast it looks at the difficulties of educating children in rural China.
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