On September, the boycott movement about Disney’s live-action remake of the animated film “Mulan” is spreading around the world. There are two reasons for this. First, it is because of the comments of Liu Yifei, the actress who plays Mulan. In the past, Liu Yifei posted a photo with messages which support the Hong Kong police written “I support the Hong Kong police. What a shame for Hong Kong,” on SNS. At that time, the pro-democracy protests were in full swing in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong police who suppressed the protesters were criticized. In addition, Yen Ji Dan, one of the actors in the movie, also posted a message on SNS that congratulated the 23rd anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China. The movie “Mulan” is a story about a hero fighting against discrimination and repression, but the actors act contrary to Mulan. Second, the filming location in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was controversial since this place is known to be labor camp where Chinese authority confine Uighurs. The ending credit also included a phrase expressing appreciation for providing the place. This phrase has received a lot of criticism that Disney implicitly justified the Chinese government’s suppression of Uighurs and thier human rights.
When I first heard this boycott movement, I felt so complicated. Since I enjoyed watching this animation, I expected so much that I could memorize the release date of live-action film. Although the animation was a work released in 1998, it contained a strong message and criticism of a society against discrimination and oppression. Also, the stereotype of gender equality has improved much today, but at that time, the perception of gender equality was remarkably low. So, I think the meaning of this movie is even greater. The main character, Mulan, enters the army dressed as a man instead of his father, who is not in good health. However, her another purpose was probably to find the true value of herself. She goes on a journey to find the “real her” despite negative views from people. Therefore, I felt that Mulan’s theme is “everyone has the right to find the true value of themselves without being bounded to discrimination and prejudice around them.”
Everyone may have given up on what they want to do even before they get started because of social perception or negative comments. Sometimes I did, too. However, Mulan told people like me to have courage. Mulan is a precious and meaningful movie to me, but aside from that, the actress who played the role of Mulan was sympathizing with suppressing “Mulan” in the real world. There is no doubt that the comments of support for the Hong Kong police would have shocked and disappointed those who moved for freedom, democracy and human rights.
What do you think about the fact that the movie telling about hope was filmed in an inappropriate place, and even thanked the wrong people? I am one of the people who like the animation “Mulan,” but after hearing the boycott, I thought deeply about whether Mulan’s sincerity can be seen in live-action film.
Koo Da-som firstname.lastname@example.org
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