90 Miles From Tyranny : Once Upon A Time… in China

Monday, July 6, 2020

Once Upon A Time… in China

How an American film distributor became a part of the CCP's Hollywood empire

Over the past decade, more and more American moviegoers have witnessed something startling: Much of what they watch is now altered to serve the interests of the Chinese Communist Party.

From the omission of Taiwan's flag from a jacket in Top Gun: Maverick to China's digital replacement with North Korea in Red Dawn, the country's political sway in movies has grown increasingly apparent. Hollywood studios now bend over backwards to appease the government gatekeeping the world's fastest-growing media market. The effects of that influence operation are obvious, but the mechanics that drive it are obscured in a vast web of corporate connections.

Within that web, however, lies one story: that of a major independent digital distributor, Cinedigm, known originally for overhauling cinemas and now in the business of distributing television and movies to storefronts and digital platforms like Netflix and iTunes. In 2017, Cinedigm was bought by a Chinese investment firm, Bison Capital, and has since remade itself as a pioneering distributor of Chinese content to American audiences.

The tangled tale of Bison and Cinedigm ties together the rise and fall of a Hollywood business, the get-rich schemes of the Chinese movie industry, and the pervasive and often shadowy influence of the Chinese Communist Party. The result is a story fit for a Hollywood retelling.

Neither Cinedigm nor a public-facing Bison subsidiary, Bison Finance Group, responded to requests for comment for this article. Several former Cinedigm affiliates approached also did not comment, with one citing a...

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1 comment:

  1. we should all have taken note when the President of General Motors said their biggest market was China. But the US bailed them out anyway. Google it.