Queer filmmaker Fan Popo has claimed a partial victory over Chinese censors after a court ruled against the media regulator for the first time.
His documentary Mama Rainbow, about six mothers and their gay sons, had a total 100,000 views on three Chinese video sharing sites before just disappearing from the internet in December last year.
An employee at 56.com told Fan that they had received a document from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, ordering the film be removed because it said gay content violated regulations.
Fan sued SAPPRFT in September after it denying that such a document existed.
A court in Beijing ruled last week that the censors did not send out a document requesting the video be deleted. But SAPPRFT replied to Fan using the name of its ‘general office’ rather than its proper name, which the court said was illegal and ordered the regulator to pay 50 yuan in legal fees.
Who ordered the documentary to be removed remains a mystery, but Fan said the ruling could be considered a ‘half victory.’
‘I still think the verdict is to my advantage, because now knowing the agency did not release any document, I can require the video sites to put my film back,’ he told China Real Time.
‘I also saw online comments saying that they don’t support gay rights but they are happy to see somebody sue SAPPRFT.’
Fan is currently making a follow-up to Mama Rainbow, titled Papa Rainbow.
Watch the documentary below: