Chen Kaige: Air pollution strangling creativity

IS AIR pollution in Beijing responsible for affecting the recent work of one of China’s best-known movie directors?

Though he didn’t say so directly, Chen Kaige said at the opening of this year’s big political conclave in Beijing that the poor quality of the capital’s air had been making it hard for him to concentrate on his work, reported the Wall Street Journal this weekend.

“Cornered by the terrible weather, I have nowhere to go,” the newspaper quoted China’s official Xinhua news agency. “I am unable to focus on my artistic creation.”

The director described air pollution as “appalling” and “unbelievable,” according to Xinhua.

With the high toxicity of China’s air, land and water making headlines and stirring up the country’s vocal social media users in recent months, activists have predicted environmental protection would dominate the agenda as Chinese officials, academics, celebrities and entrepreneurs pour into Beijing for political meetings this month.

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