Thu, Oct 24, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Ministry cannot compel edit in ‘Abominable’ film

Staff writer, with CNA

Tainan City Councilor Li Chi-wei, right, on Tuesday points at a controversial map shown on a poster for the animated movie Abominable.

Photo: Liu Wan-chun, Taipei Times

A map shown in the animated film Abominable disrespects Taiwan’s sovereignty, the Ministry of Culture said Tuesday, as Taiwan joined several of its neighbors in complaining about the scene.

However, the government cannot require films that “harm national interests or ethnic dignity” be removed or edited, after Article 26 was removed from the Motion Picture Act (電影法), it said.

In the film, a map of the South China Sea shows China’s “nine-dash line,” a U-shaped boundary that claims much of the sea as Chinese territory, with a 10th dash drawn next in the waters to the northeast of Taiwan.

The 10th dash is not part of China’s official claim to the area, but some Chinese mapmakers began producing maps featuring it in 2014.

The film, produced by DreamWorks Animation and China-based Pearl Studio, tells the story of a teenage girl in China who finds a Yeti on her roof and then embarks on an adventure to reunite it with its family in the Himalayas.

The film has ignited controversy because of the map.

Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines last week said the film could not be shown because of the map, but the film did not attract much attention locally until Tuesday, when Tainan City Councilor Li Chi-wei (李啟維), a Democratic Progressive Party member, held a news conference.

The film is advertising China’s illegal claim to Taiwanese territory, Li said.

The government should step in and ensure the scene containing the map is removed before it is shown locally, he said.

Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei contest all or some of China’s claims in the South China Sea.

United International Pictures, the film’s distributor, has refused requests from Hanoi, Manila and Kuala Lumpur to cut the map scene.

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