Since the news got out that China was getting an online release for the wildly popular American cult classic, Fight Club, there was a lot of public interest in the event. Given the Chinese government’s history of censorship, many people were genuinely confused about the fact that the country was allowing screenings of a subversive, anti-state film.
Their suspicions were confirmed when it was revealed that the censorship board had made alterations to the iconic film in order to make sure that the messaging of the film was in accordance with the state propaganda. There was even a disclaimer with the release of the film which clarified what changes had been made to Fight Club.
“Through the clue provided by Tyler, the police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding,” the statement released with this version said. “After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”
Fans around the world criticised this blatant disregard for David Fincher’s original film and condemned China’s dystopian censorship policies. Even the author of the source material for the film, Chuck Palahniuk, wrote: ‘Tyler and the gang were all arrested. He was tried and sentenced to a mental asylum. How amazing,” he wrote. “I’d no idea! Justice always wins. Nothing ever exploded. Fini.”
In response to all the backlash and the protests against the alteration of Fight Club, Tencent has finally decided to restore the original ending of the film and even restored the 11 to 12 minutes of footage that were cut from the new release. According to the country’s citizens, this is an incredibly rare event in the recent history of Chinese censorship.