Black Panther reviews from China call the superhero movie 'too black' and 'a torture for the eyes'

FP Staff

Mar 13, 2018 15:16:37 IST

Black Panther has undoubtedly been one of the biggest movies in recent time. The Ryan Coogler-directed Marvel superhero movie has already raked in over $1 billion globally.

The movie's performance in international markets has been impressive. In China, Black Panther, the first all black superhero movie, has made over $66.6 million. In fact, China has played a key-role in propelling Black Panther over the 1$ billion mark.

But all may not be good for Black Panther in China as the movie has been receiving some harsh criticism and insensitive backlash from movie-goers.

The Chinese poster for Black Panther/Image from Twitter.

The Chinese poster for Black Panther/Image from Twitter.

Now, it is not a secret that China struggles with identifying with people of other races. In the recent past, Chinese television and advertisements have created a fair amount of controversy by showcasing what many viewers think is racist content. In one such advertisement for a detergent, which went viral on the internet back in May, 2016, you can see a black man transform into a fair Chinese man after being pushed into a washing machine.

In another separate incident, John Boyega — who plays Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi — was removed from the Chinese version of the poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This, too, sparked a controversy and called into question the ability of the Chinese to watch black people in big Hollywood movies.

Now, despite Black Panther showing decent opening at the Chinese box-office, the movie is being criticized for being "too black", and "too dark". These reviews are being posted on the Chinese website Douban — the Chinese equivalent of IMDb — where Black Panther scored a 6.8 rating out of 10. On Rotten Tomatoes, Black Panther is currently running at 97%, which indicates nearly universal praise for the movie.

Some of the reviews on the website, which have been translated into English from Chinese by the websites Hip-Hop Wired and Quartz, read as follows:

"Maybe the Chinese are still not used to a film full of black people. Black Panther is black, all the major characters are black, a lot of scenes are black, the car-chasing scene is black — the blackness has really made me drowsy."

"When I entered the theater, a bunch of black people was fighting in the night… I’ve never been in a theater so dark that I couldn’t find my seat."

"The film is filled with black actors and actresses. Also, because the film’s colors are a bit dark, it’s nearly a torture for the eyes to watch the film’s 3D version in the theater."

"Even if the screen with the highest brightness is selected, the movie still looks dark."

Updated Date: Mar 13, 2018 15:45:36 IST