Mulan set to open in China amid calls for boycott and bad reviews

Movie slammed on Twitter for scenes shot in Xinjiang; Chinese netizens cite cultural errors

People exiting a cinema advertising the movie Mulan in Shanghai yesterday. In China, where the movie is set to open tomorrow, early viewers have also panned the film on movie review site Douban, rating it 4.7 points out of 10, accusing producers of O
People exiting a cinema advertising the movie Mulan in Shanghai yesterday. In China, where the movie is set to open tomorrow, early viewers have also panned the film on movie review site Douban, rating it 4.7 points out of 10, accusing producers of Orientalism and misinterpreting Chinese culture. But it remains to be seen whether the online furore will be reflected in box-office takings. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Even before hitting the big screens in mainland China, Disney's lavish US$200 million (S$273 million) live-action remake of Mulan has been hit with controversy, delays and calls for a boycott.

Fresh calls to shun the movie erupted on Twitter earlier this week after it was revealed that film-makers had shot scenes in China's western region of Xinjiang, where the government has been accused of human rights abuses against its Muslim Uighur population.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2020, with the headline 'Mulan set to open in China amid calls for boycott and bad reviews'. Print Edition | Subscribe