The Huffington Post features China essay by Lloyd Kaufman

It’s Not Me, It’s You: My Break Up With China 
written by Lloyd Kaufman, (with Taylor Sprow)

The current atrocities committed at the hands of the Chinese government are unacceptable and I find myself unable to look past them for the sake of my dream: to make a movie in China.”– Lloyd Kaufman

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like an independent filmmaker scorned.” 
-William Congreve (sort of)
Ni hau ma from Tromaville!
Fuck you, China, and the Han Dynasty horse you rode in on! You have double-crossed me!
In our vastly interconnected world of quick clicks and instant communication, thinking globally is pretty much the only option. In a second you can be connected with someone on the other side of the planet. Here at Troma, we are well aware of what it means to function on a global scale. Without our fans from all over the world, we would not have been able to survive 42 years so far in this elitist hellmouth we call the film industry.

t has been my dream for years to further spread Troma’s shit-disturbing, peace-loving reach…into other parts of the world, specifically China. A lifelong interest in China’s history and culture has led me to want to actually make a Troma movie there, in the Mandarin language no less. Decades have passed, though, since I first visited China and the things that have always stopped me from making a film there still hold true. In fact, I would say, things have only gotten progressively worse since then. It’s not the Chinese laws or logistics that keep the Chinese Troma movie from ever being made. Instead, it’s the Chinese oppression, elitism, and corruption that has long-existed in China, so the nation’s failure to neither cease nor amend these obscene failures fuels my rage.
I have been fascinated by China since I was probably 9 years old. My very left of left-wing grandmother often gave me books, one of which was  The Brave New World. Not to be confused with Huxley’s dystopian tale, this book by Scott & Helen Nearing detailed the pair’s travels throughout China and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and glorified Chairman Mao and his actions. Though misguided, the book spurred an interest in me that continued through college where I majored in Chinese Studies at Yale University  (1). I spent four years studying the language, the history, the art, and culture. At this time, U.S. citizens were not allowed visit China but I took the opportunity to travel elsewhere including Taiwan. When I finally made it to China in 1979, I began to think that it was, quite possibly, a nation progressing towards a more democratic ideology and away from its oppressive past that so often maimed anything even resembling freedom or independence. To my wife and me, it appeared that there was a movement occurring to open up China and allow the voices of dissent to finally be included in the conversation. There was even a Democracy Wall located in Beijing from 1978 to 1979 where you could post anything you wanted to say. In fact, my wife and I put up a poster for our movie  Squeeze Play! which immediately drew a huge crowd, including the police, so we disappeared quickly  (2).


Things looked promising, however. Had I prophesized back then, I would have guessed that China would become not unlike the United States; a corrupt government would be in control, but at least its citizens would have free expression and the right to exist as individuals. I also would have been wrong. Instead, China is owned and controlled by a small group of elites alongside its President and Prime Minister, and is progressing towards an extreme form of elite fascism, reminiscent of Franco’s Spain.

2016-11-23-1479938755-1493638-wallpic.pngBeijing’s Democracy Wall did not last long.

The current atrocities committed at the hands of the Chinese government are unacceptable and I find myself unable to look past them for the sake of my dream: “Troma Does China” experience. While some of the atrocities hurt Troma directly and work to destroy independent art, others are flat out lethal assaults against humanity. We’re talking murder, folks. We’re talking the annihilation of communities (3). For example, look at the experience of the Uighur people. The Uighurs are a peaceful Muslim community living mostly in China’s Western Xinjiang region. These are honorable people who have never done anything except desire their religious freedom. Yet those in Chinese power see them as a threat. The Chinese government is doing their best to exterminate the Uighur people. Used as a scapegoat for various acts of discord and violence, the Uighur people have suffered discrimination, persecution, and violent attacks at the hands of China’s racist government.

Map of China showing the location of Xinjiang

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