Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan, already targeting the boycott, is under fire for filming in Xinjiang, the site of alleged widespread human rights abuses against Uygar and other Muslim minorities.
The film, directed by Nikki Karo, is an adaptation of Disney’s 1998 animation about Hua Mulan, a young woman disguised as a man disguised as her father to fight in the royal army.
The remake attracted criticism when actor Liu Yifei, who is playing the role of Mulan, said he supported the Hong Kong police in the often violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
Following the film’s release last Friday, observers noted another controversial element: In the final credits, Disney offers “special thanks” to eight governmental entities in Xinjiang, including the Bureau of Public Safety in Tuarp, a city in eastern Xinjiang Is where many re-education camps are. Has been documented
The film also expresses thanks to the “propaganda department of the CPC Xinjiang Uygar Autonomous Region Committee” of the propaganda department of the Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang. Disney has been contacted for comment.
China has faced international scrutiny for its treatment of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, where it is estimated that at least 1 million residents have been detained in additional detention camps. Uyghur women have forced sterilization and birth control as part of a government campaign to suppress the birth date, which experts have described as a “demographic massacre”.
According to media reports prior to its release, Mulan was shot at about 20 locations in China, including the Mingsha Shan Desert, a part of which is Xinjiang, and the Oasis village Tuyuk Valley east of Turpan.
Activists calling for a boycott of the film are now shedding light on their links to Xinjiang, while researchers have noted that the Public Security Bureau in Trump At least 14 trainee camps In area.
It’s just getting worse! Now, when you see #Mulan, Not only are you closing an eye for police brutality and racial injustice (due to standing up for the main actors), you are also potentially engaging in mass oppression of Muslim Uyghurs. #BoycottMulan https://t.co/dAMgZ6PWTD
– Joshua Wong 之 黃 黃 @ (@joshuawongcf) September 7, 2020
Mullan thanked the Bureau of Turpan for public safety as it was again filmed in Turpan at the peak of the education campaign in 2018. How many thousands of Uygars were put into camps by the Thurapan Bureau of Public Security while filming Mulan there? https://t.co/yX0xssPnKW
– Shaun Zhang (@shawnwzhang) September 7, 2020
In 2017, while on an apparent location scouting mission, Caro posted a photo of the rolling Desert Dunes and tagged the image “Asia / Urumqi” referring to the capital of Xinjiang. A comment below Caro’s post said: Shame on you, speak out against #BoycottMulan and #Uyghur #genocide! “
The film follows Mullan as he joins the Imperial Army to defend a region emanating from the invaders of the imperial army – nomads – who have now arrived from Mongolia. The film’s release also comes at a time, with residents in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China, opposing the compulsory introduction of Mandarin language instruction and the gradual elimination of their language and culture.
“It feeds into China’s current national myth with inept borders.” It is not just that the film was partially made in Xinjiang, where the massacre is currently taking place. “It is this film that frames the people who are currently destroying their culture as bad people, lionizing Han culture and Chineseism.”
Parts of the story are set up along the Silk Road. The territory of Xinjiang was once an important part of the route. The film’s production designer, Grant Major, told Architectural Digest that he and the production team spent months doing legwork research in the northwest province of Xinjiang and before the cameras rolled.
Grant said the team consulted with Chinese academics to “give an extra look to what we find and feel it right using our creativity”.