Where’s all the brave Hollywood talk about freedom and artistic integrity now?
In the latest bizarre news from the world of Chinese censors versus Hollywood, the nation’s largest streamer, Tencent Video, is showing a version of David Fincher’s 1999 classic thriller that completely cuts the original climactic scenes, replacing them with text on screen that imagines an entirely new finale to the film.
As you recall, the U.S. theatrical version concludes with the Narrator’s (Edward Norton) revelation that he and eccentric brawler-turned-terrorist Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) are one in the same. After the Narrator “kills off” his alter ego in the waning moments, he and his very confused girlfriend Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) watch as his bombs detonate in surrounding buildings, sending each structure in the nearby skyline crumbling to the ground.
In the new Chinese edition, the film ends before its concerto of explosions, instead offering a revisionist conclusion via a title card that reads:
“Through the clue provided by Tyler, the police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding. After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum [sic] receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”
In other words: Government wins, anarchy loses.
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