Despite some Chinese viewers admiring the film’s representation of their own culture, Sang-Chi will likely not be shown in China anytime soon.
Sang-Chi has been a profitable Disney movie in the West and worldwide even without the Chinese box office, which is getting further away and closer to banning the Simi Liu movie entirely.
Sang-Chi was initially expected to draw more moviegoers in China after the success of Marvel Studios movies in the Chinese market. However, getting through the censorship of the Chinese can be a challenge. The Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China saw some issues with both the content and cast members of Shang-Chi to decide its refusal for a premiere.
A recent report from Variety says Chinese authorities are close to completely banning Shang-Chi because of the film star Liu’s comments going back as far as 2017. Lui is a Canadian actor who was born in China, where he lived until he was 5, but he has spoken about his parents’ stories about growing up in China like experiencing the great Chinese famine.
This may have enraged the Communist Party since Liu recalls his family telling him “They lived in the third world. They thought of Canada as this pipe dream.”
Another cause of concern is Sang-Chi’s controversial and offensive source material, although many Chinese viewers didn’t see how the movie disrespects Chinese culture after seeing it. Instead, many have noticed otherwise because of how well it captures certain aspects of the culture. In China, the controversy surrounding Liu has reached a certain level in which a recent video from GQ, showing the actor describing his essential must-have items, drew tons of criticisms due to his love for bubble tea made by Vitasoy, a Hong Kong company being boycotted by the Chinese recently.
The Chinese censorship and China’s internet acceptance for Sang-Chi look to be more focused on the actors themselves rather than the movie or its controversial resource.
Even superstar Tony Leung with his past comments on the Hong Kong protests somewhat gets into this plus the fact that the Mandarin, like most of the cast of Sang-Chi, is not a native Mandarin speaker.
The only Mandarin speaker is actor Meng’er Zhang, who plays Shang-Chi’s sister Xu Xialing. However, some of the Chinese viewers have commented on the noticeable accents. On the other hand, many native speakers have also praised the quantity and quality of Mandarin dialogue in Shang-Chi.
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