11 Things You Won't Believe Governments Have Banned

On the surface, it seems ridiculous that governments would try to ban things like video games, certain clothing and hairstyles, or reincarnation without government permission. Weird, huh? Every one of these bans has a reason behind it, whether it makes sense to us or not. For example, in China, the movie Avatar cannot be shown unless it is the 3D version.
While the army in Avatar is undoubtedly American, the idea of people siding with an indigenous population against an imperialistic force is something that China was not comfortable with. That's why shortly after the release of the movie in China, the authorities decided the movie could only be shown in 3D. Since there are very few 3D theaters in China, the move was effectively a ban on the film.

Read the reasoning behind the other bans at Oddee. Link

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I live in China and I can tell you, that wasn't the reason at all. The majority of ethnic Chinese live well away from the minority areas (which are largely in the borderlands) and have no idea about any of those issues, and cultural differences/unfamiliar plot conventions/losses-in-translation would have made most of the film's subtext inaccessible to the Chinese (see some of the non-Chinese interpretations of old-school Zhang Yimou movies for the same thing happening the other way). For the most part, locals saw it as an entertaining cartoon, and liked it for its visuals more than anything.

Avatar was in theatres for ages, and if the government wasn't comfortable with it, it would have never made it to the theatres in the first place (most big foreign films don't). They pulled Avatar because they really really wanted to push a movie about Confucius. Lately, the propaganda has become increasingly nationalistic, and they constantly push a heavily-reinterpreted version of Confucian thought as a touchstone in Chinese national achievement and culture. Even though it was privately-made, the government was hoping for a huge blockbuster, and the marketing was relentless.
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