Nomadland, the American film helmed by Chloe Zhao, has been censored in China over questions regarding Zhao’s citizenship.
Zhao made history by becoming the first Asian woman to win the Best Director award at the recently held 78th Golden Globes.
According to a report by Variety, Zhao in an interview with Filmmaker Magazine in 2013 had said that China was like “being in a place where there are lies everywhere”. This had recently resurfaced on the internet along with many people questioning Zhao’s citizenship by Chinese nationalists.
In the interview, the director mentioned that she was born in Beijing and had attributed her interest in the American heartland due to her experiences in China.
Although the magazine deleted the section in mid-February, it has not caused much difference to China’s stance on her film. The film’s promotional material and posters are no longer available on the internet in China. Even keywords related to the film have been blocked on Weibo, the popular social media platform.
Nomadland’s promotional posters disappeared from another social media site, Douban, and articles related to the film have also been removed.
Hashtags such as #Nomadland and #NomadlandReleaseDate show the message “The topic’s page cannot be shown due to related laws, regulations and policies”.
However, other hashtags like #Nomadland Movie” and #Chloe Zhao still yield results and people are still able to view Zhao accepting her Golden Globe award.
The film was allowed to have a limited release on April 23 through China’s National Arthouse Alliance of Cinemas. However, now China’s key ticketers, Maoyan and Tao Piaopiao, have removed the film from their listings. Variety had reported that sources are still hoping to release the film and keep a low profile with the promotional activities.
Zhao is currently directing Marvel Studio’s Eternals starring Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, and Kit Harrington. The movie is slated to release on November 5.