China blocks entry to Scorsese's 'Departed'


BEIJING -- China's movie censor will not approve Golden Globe-honored film "The Departed" for domestic cinematic release due to its mention of a Chinese plan to buy military equipment, government sources said Wednesday.

Martin Scorsese was named best film director at the Golden Globes on Monday for "The Departed," a crime thriller many think might earn him first Oscar either for best directing or for best film.

"There is no chance 'The Departed' will be shown in mainland cinemas because the U.S. side declined to change a plot line describing how Beijing wanted to buy advanced military computer hardware," said one source.

"That part of the plot is definitely unnecessary," added the source, who asked not to be identified as he does not have permission to speak to the foreign media.

"The regulators just cannot understand why the movie wanted to involve China. They can talk about Iran or Iraq or whatever, but there's no reason to get China in," added the source, who is close to the country's movie regulator.

Another government source, who also asked for anonymity, confirmed the decision.

An executive in Hong Kong at Media Asia, which has the distribution rights for "The Departed" in the mainland, said that the film did not pass the Chinese censor, but declined further comment.

The ruling is likely to have little impact on stopping Chinese people seeing the movie, as pirated versions can already be bought on DVD off the street in China.

"The Departed," a cops versus criminals saga starring Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon, is a Hollywood remake of hit Hong Kong movie "Infernal Affairs".