The Denis Villeneuve-directed sci-fi thriller “Arrival” has been the unintentional catalyst for a wave of anti-China sentiment in Hong Kong following the release of a dozen posters for the film last week.
The posters for the Amy Adams-led film showcased various locations around the globe where twelve giant alien craft hover over them, part of the narrative which is all about overcoming the language differences between two species.
The problem was that one poster used the cityscape of Hong Kong but with one Shanghai landmark – the Oriental Pearl Tower – superimposed over the top of Victoria Harbour and the iconic skyline of its north and south sides.
The poster has gone viral on social media with nearly 1,500 comments on the film’s official Facebook page that include hashtags such as #hongkongisnotchina, #WhyOrientalPearlTowerHere and other angry criticisms. The former British colony has been the center of a political storm in recent years amid increasing control from Beijing and calls for independence.
Local politicians have reportedly begun to use the mistake in their campaigns ahead of the city’s September Legislative Council election. “Arrival” hits the U.S. on November 11th but has no release date for Hong Kong yet scheduled.