“I Wanna Go See a Movie” goes viral as a protest slogan in China – The Hollywood Reporter

Various slogans, slogans and euphemisms have spread rapidly in China in recent days, as people’s protests spread to cities across the country, reflecting anger today. increasing public awareness of the harsh reality of life under Beijing’s tight control over Covid. But one slogan in particular seems to have caught the attention of China’s beleaguered film industry.

A video shows protesters in Shanghai chanting, “I want to see a movie!” was widely shared on WeChat among Chinese film fans and industry experts over the weekend. This statement seems to reflect one of many daily privileges that some in China feel they have lost as the third year of the pandemic has passed, with no end to Beijing’s Covid-0 policy. .

“Everybody was forced to scream one last time: I want to see the movie!” the head of one of China’s major cinema chains wrote on Wechat on Monday, in a post that included a protest video.

Many other well-known Chinese film executives have shared videos with their followers, along with a “crying” emoji or simply repeating the tagline: “I want to see a movie!”

China’s theatrical film market has withered this year under Beijing’s Covid-free policy and increased censorship. As of Monday, total domestic ticket sales were down 36 percent year-over-year and 50 percent below pre-pandemic 2019 levels, according to data from Artisan Gateway.

The vast majority of cinemas in China remain open, but with Covid infection rates rising in major cities like Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing — and requiring complex PCR testing to reach the cinemas. public places in most major provinces — freedom of movement and consumption is no longer guaranteed between departments. majority of the Chinese population.

People’s frustration found a similar outlet in China’s World Cup viewers, who lamented their growing sense of isolation as they watched the fans in the stands at the tournament. football matches in Qatar celebrate without wearing masks or practicing social distancing. In response to comments that went viral wondering why no one in Qatar seemed to be wearing a mask, Beijing’s media censors began substituting photos of crowds without masks in Qatar. with pictures of players and coaches.

China’s ongoing Covid outbreak began in the aftermath of a fire in the western Chinese city of Urumqi, where at least 10 people died. Locals and online watchers suspect that the lockdown measures have slowed rescue efforts, directly contributing to the deaths. The incident has become a rare nationwide wave of grievances against the ruling Communist Party and its late-stage handling of the pandemic, with the so-called Covid-0 policy continuing to save lives but day by day. further wreaking havoc on the country’s economy and people’s sense of freedom and happiness.

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