Abominable, a DreamWorks animated film, out in cinemas now, has recently found itself in the centre of a political scandal. The movie, which is about a Chinese girl who discovers a yeti living on her roof, has been accused for a specific scene, which depicts a map of South East Asia, and, in particular, of the South China Sea.
This zone, beside being rich in potential natural resources and fishing grounds, is strategically important and is being reclaimed by several countries. The map of the movie depicts the famous “nine-dash line”, which illustrate China’s territorial claims over the area.
Since the story is set in China, this scene could be interpreted as a representation of the political vision of the country where the plot takes place. However, the five countries that have similar claims on the area, interpreted the scene as a violent political message and challenge.
These countries took strict measures towards the film. In particular, Vietnam pulled the movie from cinemas on Monday, while the Philippines’ foreign minister has called for the scene showing the map to be cut and the film boycotted.
Moreover, the movie has been criticised in Malaysia: “The animated film titled ‘Abominable’… has been given approval for screening in Malaysia under the condition that the controversial map is removed from the film”, the Malaysian film board chairman Mohamad Zamberi Abdul Aziz told news agency Reuters.