Twenty years after Fight Club, its explosive ending —with «Where is my mind?» background music—is not yet for all audiences. It so happens that the iconic 1999 film, directed by David Fincher, recently arrived on a platform of streaming in China. And of course, the government reached out to lower two lines to its anti-system theme, to the point of distorting the outcome of the story. Remember those lovebirds holding hands as they witness corporate buildings collapsing? Well, that never happened, according to authorities of the Asian nation.
Based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club follows the life of a man turned insane, insomniac-ridden office worker until he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a soap salesman who questions his consumerism and encourages him to renounce the mundane. The two then found “Fight Club” where a growing collective of frustrated men find a way to experience catharsis through beatings. Eventually the group becomes a secret organization tasked with creating chaos and transgressing the status quo, to the point of planting explosives at the headquarters of large credit companies.
At the end of the film, the protagonist (Edward Norton) tries to thwart Tyler’s radical plans until he discovers that they are both the same person. Without further ado, he simply watches from a window, along with his beloved Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), a fall —both literal and figurative— of the prevailing economic system… But hey, none of this happens in the most recent censored version of Fight Club.
From the digital platform Tencent Video -exclusive to China- the public will witness an outcome not only different but absolutely contradictory to the original. In addition to omitting the sequence of the explosions, the Chinese censors gave their approval to place a legend explaining that the security forces managed to prevent the catastrophe and that Tyler Burden was confined in a psychiatric hospital.
“Through the tip provided by Tyler, the police quickly discovered the entire plan and arrested all the criminals,” the epilogue dictates. “Thus they successfully prevented the bomb from exploding. After the trial, Tyler was sent to an asylum for lunatics and received psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”
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According to a source Vice, “the film was edited by the copyright owner and then approved by the government [de China] before selling it to sites streaming for distribution.”
In Mexico, Fight Club It is currently available within the Netflix, Prime Video and Star Plus catalogues.
The entry Censorship in China invents a new ending for Fight Club was first published in Cine PREMIERE.