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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 11:16 GMT
Chinese TV cuts Ang Lee's speech
Ang Lee

The Chinese media praised Taiwan-born Ang Lee for his best director Oscar win but state TV cut part of his speech mentioning China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Lee thanked everyone in all three regions. Beijing regards Taiwan as sovereign territory and Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

"Ang Lee is the pride of Chinese people," said the China Daily.

State television also cut Lee's words of thanks to the two gay cowboys in his film, Brokeback Mountain.

Lee said: "They taught all of us so much, not just about the gay men and women whose love is denied by society but, just as importantly, about the greatness of love itself."

Brokeback Mountain will not be released in Chinese cinemas and can only been seen on pirate DVD.

The Chinese government refused to include it on a list of foreign films approved for domestic cinemas, a move that stops just short of an outright ban.

Early success

Homosexuality was listed as a psychiatric disorder in China until 2001.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal
Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Brokeback Mountain

Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper contrasted Lee's success with China's controls on popular culture.

"China cannot produce a director like Ang Lee," it claimed.

The paper praised the US for allowing creative freedom.

Lee's film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won the best foreign language film Oscar in 2001, did well at the international box office but not in China.

The 51-year-old director started out in film in his early 20s after graduating from the National Taiwan College of Arts.

He went on to study theatre directing in the US at the University of Illinois, followed by film production at New York University.

His Hollywood films include the 1997 family drama The Ice Storm and the western Ride with the Devil, which was released in 1999.


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