Communist Vietnam bans “Abominable” film over South China Sea map; promises to be “more vigorous in censorship”

The communist government of Vietnam has pulled the family-friendly animated movie “Abominable” from theaters nationwide. Why? The movie has a scene which shows a map that the government doesn’t like.

What’s the big deal? The map as shown includes a feature which has come to be known as the “nine-dash-line,” which demarcates the territorial claims of China in the resource-rich South China Sea. The line has been a point of controversy in Vietnam for many years, and the government in Hanoi has actively disputed China’s claim. The UN invalidated China’s claim as outlined in the “Nine-dash-line” in 2016. It is worth noting that Abominable was produced by DreamWorks Animation in collaboration with the China-based Pearl Studio.


The movie lasted precisely one week before being removed from Vietnamese theaters. In addition to banning the film, all trailers, movie posters, and all promotional material for “Abominable” has been removed. All online information referencing the movie has also been wiped away from distribution websites and social media channels.

The Vietnamese cinema department is responsible for the censorship of all movies, scrubbing them for violence, sexual content, and any political messages that could be seen as unfavorable to the communist government of Vietnam. According to cinema department head Nguyen Thu Ha, “We will be more alert and more vigorous in censorship.”

Abominable tells the story of a young Chinese girl helping a lost yeti get back to its home on Mount Everest, so at least the use of a Chinese map is contextually consistent.

Did China deliberately troll the international community by stealth-inserting a controversial map? Did the Vietnamese government overreact by banning the film? Which authoritarian communist regime do you think is in the right? (Or does it sound like both are pretty much shit at this point?)

Let is know in the comments!

Source: Miami Herald

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