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Hong Kong star's "Pirates" scenes slashed
9/6/2007 12:13

More than half of the scenes featuring Hong Kong star Chow Yun-fat in "Pirates of the Caribbean III" have been cut for its Chinese mainland release on June 12, including his recitation of a poem in Cantonese, Youth Daily reported yesterday.

Chow plays the role as Captain Sao Feng, a Singapore's pirate, who saves Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from the world of the dead.

Chow's performance lasts for 20 to 30 minutes in the version released around the world but in the domestic version, it has been cut to at most 10 minutes.

In the Hollywood version, the captain recites a poem by Tang dynasty poet Li Bai (701-762), the greatest of the romantic poets of ancient China, in one scene in which he appears with co-star Keira Knightly.

The poem "Guan Shan Yue" (The Moon Shining over the Mountain on the Border) tells of the lonely life of an expat, which accords with the mood of the captain who is wandering far from his hometown.

Chow recites the poem in Cantonese while the words are seen in English. The scene impressed the audience when the movie was shown at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

But this scene was cut from the domestic version, a reporter based in Beijing who saw the movie's media screening told the newspaper.

Chow plays as a key figure in two scenes in the original version.

The domestic version has cut the first one which reveals the background of Captain Sao Feng.

The sudden debut of the captain confused the audience at the Beijing screening. The captain is quickly killed and the loss of the introduction weakens the role, the report said.

Another scene with huge Chinese constructions at the beginning of the movie has also been cut.

China's film watchdog had said earlier that the cut scenes involved too much violence and horror, the report said.