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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 11:06 GMT
China rejects new Scorsese film
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson in The Departed
Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio star in The Departed
Hollywood film The Departed will not be shown in China, after it was rejected by the country's state-run distributor.

An executive at Hong Kong distributor Media Asia, which owns the distribution rights in China, said they were told the US thriller was "inappropriate".

Martin Scorsese's award-winning film shows gangsters trying to sell computer technology to Chinese villains.

The film, based on the 2002 Hong Kong drama Infernal Affairs, is tipped for Oscar glory next month.

Yuan Wenqiang, a vice president at China Film Group, confirmed the company's sales staff rejected the film.

"After they watched it, they thought it wasn't suited for the mainland Chinese market," he told AP news agency. "They didn't give concrete reasons."

Martin Scorsese
Scorsese picked up a Golden Globe for The Departed

Media Asia's marketing manager Chan Ka-li said her company would not be lobbying for a reversal of the decision.

"If they've seen the movie and they don't think it's appropriate, then there's probably nothing we can do," she said.

China only imports about 20 films a year, so it is not uncommon for the country to block Hollywood movies.

Last year it rejected Memoirs of A Geisha, after the decision to cast Chinese actresses Ziyi Zhang and Gong Li as Japanese women caused controversy.

The Departed, starring Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, has been a worldwide box office hit and won Scorsese the best director award at the Golden Globes earlier this month.

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