"Abominable" with controversial nine-dash line removed from Vietnamese cinemas

By An Nguyen   October 13, 2019 | 11:32 pm PT
"Abominable" with controversial nine-dash line removed from Vietnamese cinemas
A scene from animation movie "Abominable" showing China's nine-dash line was shared on social media. Screenings of the movie have been suspended in all Vietnamese cinemas.
Vietnamese cinemas have stopped screening animation movie "Abominable" after viewers spotted China’s nine-dash line that violates Vietnam’s waters sovereignty.

Hoang Hai, a spokesperson of CGV, Vietnam’s largest cinema chain that bought the movie rights, said they were no longer selling tickets to show the film.

Information about the movie, including its trailer, synopsis and show times have also been taken down by CGV and other distributors on their homepages and media channels.

Director of the Cinema Department Nguyen Thu Ha said she took responsibility for the oversight and has coordinated with the distributor to stop showing the film. "We will be more alert and cautious in future movie reviews."

"Abominable" was released in Vietnamese theaters on October 4. The movie follows a Chinese girl named Yi and two friends who end up meeting the snowman and help the creature reunite with his family at Mount Everest.

After the film was released, a scene with a map in Yi’s house showing the nine-dash line representing China’s fraudulent East Sea claim in flagrant violation of Vietnamese sovereignty over it waters caught some Vietnamese viewers’ attention.

The line is a demarcation that claims 90 percent of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer East Sea, known internationally as South China Sea, which has been met with strong opposition from the international community. It overlaps with claims by Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines, apart from violating Vietnam’s sovereignty.

The image appears several times in the film. One viewer, Le Van Hiep, detected it, and shared it on social media.

The movie is produced by American animation studio DreamWorks Animation and Chinese company Pearl Studio.

The removal of the movie from Vietnamese cinemas follows a similar incident with "Operation Red Sea", a Chinese movie that was banned last year from being shown Vietnam.

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