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Huo Yuanjia's Descendant Sues Fearless Film Makers
2006-03-12 10:22:28
Huo Shoujin, grandson of Huo Yuanjia, sued Beijing Film Studio and Anle Film Co. Ltd. in the People's Court of Beijing's Haidian District on March 7 for maligning the reputation of his family in the movie Fearless.

Fearless tells the story of martial arts master Huo Yuanjia (1869-1910), the founder and spiritual leader of the Jing Wu Federation, a non-government kung fu organization in the early 1900s in China. According to the film, Huo's sons were all killed and he left no offspring.  

Huo Shoujin explained that he was the fourth son of Huo Dongzhang, the eldest son of Huo Yuanjia. He is now the only living grandson of Huo Yuanjia.     

Fearless produced by the defendants has had great influence since it was given its world premier on January 25, 2006.

However, the family contends that many fictitious plotlines in the film have stained the reputation of Huo Yuanjia and his offspring. "In the movie Huo Yuanjia is portrayed as a man who killed many innocent people which greatly distorts the true image of the man," Huo said.     

The family is also surprised that in the movie the change in Huo Yuanjia's attitude to life and his awareness of the martial arts apparently come with the assistance of a blind girl, and that Huo Yuanjia is being called 'Ah Niu' (dear ox) and lived for seven years with the blind girl and her grandmother.     

But worse is to come. There are bloody scenes involving Huo Yuanjia's mother and daughter being killed. Potentially it could lead to audiences believing that his family were actually all killed and that he left no descendants. This has not only done harm to the reputation of Huo Yuanjia but also of his descendants. Huo Shoujin claimed that it potentially could make people suspicious of them and result in them being put under severe mental stress.     

Huo Shoujin said that there are explicit stipulations as how much could be made up about a person when fact is turned into fiction. But the makers of Fearless had gone beyond acceptable limits. Although the expression "totally made up" is shown at the end of the film, Huo Yuanjia is a real person with a history. It would seem there is no legal loophole for the defendants to avoid their responsibilities.     

Huo Shoujin appealed to the court for Fearless to be removed from the screen and for the producers of the movie to make public apology.     

( by Li Xiaohua)   

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