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China Disables Film Rating Systems for Propaganda Extravaganza

A scene from the movie "Beginning of the Great Revival"
A scene from the movie "Beginning of the Great Revival"

Chinese authorities are taking no chances on negative reaction to a star-studded film about the founding of the Communist Party, released to mark the party's 90th anniversary this week.

Viewer rating systems and comment fields have been removed without explanation from entries for the movie on Chinese entertainment websites. Readers still are able to give star ratings and comment on other films listed on the sites.

The release of the movie, Beginning of the Great Revival, traces the decade leading up to the founding of the party by a handful of intellectuals in Shanghai in 1921. Its release is a centerpiece of nationwide celebrations scheduled to mark the anniversary on Friday.

With a cast of top Chinese and Hong Kong stars, the film is expected to top the $61 million box office take of a similar epic released two years ago for the 60th anniversary of the communist victory in 1949. But just to make sure, authorities have ordered theaters not to open any Hollywood blockbusters during the movie's run.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Official movie trailer