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China And The Times: Why The "though" There?

Not a big point. But a point nonetheless. In an intriguing New York Times story by David Barboza about one-time renegade Chinese film-maker ("Raise the Red Lanterns," "Ju Dou," "Red Sorghum") and operatic impresario ("Turandot") Zhang Yimou having the "Olympic Close-Up" turned over to him by the government there is a curious caption accompanying a photograph from his movie "Hero." It reads: "Chinese cultural officials championed Mr. Zhang's 2002 film 'Hero,' though some critics described it as a homage to authoritarian rule." Why the though there?  

What would endear a film more to Chinese cultural officials than "a homage to authoritarian rule"?