The Melancholy Pop Idol Who Haunts China

Earlier this year, the Chinese government finally lifted its restrictions on the Hong Kong director Peter Chan’s 1996 film, “Comrades, Almost a Love Story.” Insofar as censorship ever makes for sound cultural policy, the reasons for blocking “Comrades,” a star-driven romantic comedy about two Chinese migrants who venture to Hong Kong and the United States, seem especially joyless. Its offenses are slight, couched in minor differences of speech and habit. Even the most...

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