Leader comment: Censorship would dishonour Liddell’s memory

Ian Charleson plays Eric Liddell in the 1981 film Chariots Of Fire. Picture: The Kobal Collection

Ian Charleson plays Eric Liddell in the 1981 film Chariots Of Fire. Picture: The Kobal Collection

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We have to withhold final verdict until the movie is released later this year, but an issue over Chinese censorship of a film about Olympic hero Eric Liddell is ominous.

Liddell was first and foremost a Christian, and his commitment to missionary work in China saw him die in an internment camp.

The director of the Chinese-backed The Last Race says that the Chinese government’s censorship demands over Liddell’s Christianity were “quite reasonable”, while actor Joseph Fiennes said there have only been “one or two sacrifices” made.

Liddell’s sacrifice was absolute. The full story of his life, beyond his sporting glory, cannot be told if it is compromised by his faith. Such a film would betray its subject.

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