Censorship authorities in Malaysia have declined to approve the Chinese war movie The Battle At Lake Changjin for theatrical release after outrage emerged online that the film promotes Communism, which is banned in the country.

The film’s local distributor Mega Film Distribution said in a statement that it is considering submitting the title again for reconsideration by the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF), and expressed its regrets that the film which has grossed US$890mil (RM3.7bil) so far in China had not been green lit for its Nov 18 release.

It denied that the film promotes communism, stating, according to local reports, that such accusations were “unfair (to) those who want to watch it.”

“We believe the audience can use this film to trace how the Chinese volunteer army fought in the extreme cold and harsh environment,” it said.

The three-hour-long film tells the story of a 1950 battle at the titular lake, also known as the Chosin Reservoir, during the Korean War.

It favourably depicts Communist leader Mao Zedong and features significant amounts of footage devoted to lauding martyrs who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country on Mao’s orders.

It is backed by August First Film Studio, which is run by China’s military.

The movie sparked online criticism after local cinema chains posted its poster and trailer to social media. – Reuters

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