The Motion Pictures Office announced on June 7 that “Bui doi Cho Lon” (the gangs in Vietnam’s China town), a highly controversial film which has been strongly disapproved by the office for its overly gory, violent content and has caused quite a stir among netizens, has been officially banned from screening as the newly revised version remains basically the same as the original.
In the new version of “Bui doi Cho Lon”, which stars Johnny Tri Nguyen, who performed stunts for several Hollywood films including “Spiderman”, Vietnamese- American film director Charlie Nguyen did cut some of the overly violent scenes and shot new ones as requested by the office earlier.
However, the new version was assessed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s assessing board, leaders from the ministry and several concerned agencies to be inappropriate for screening as it lacks overall, substantial changes.
“After being revised, the film still wrongly reflects the Ho Chi Minh City’s security situation, as the film is set in Cho Lon, the city’s China town, in that it depicts the city as a lawless area plagued by gangs, who perform relentless gory fights and killings with lethal weaponry, while the role law enforcers play is almost invisible. The film thus blemishes the country’s and city’s image and adversely impact viewers, particularly youths,” the assessing board noted, adding that the newly shot scenes to replace former ones have little to do with the film content.
The office thus requested Thien Ngan Co., the film producer, not to publicize or leak the film in any form.
“I’m really shocked at the ban and have no comments for now,” said director Charlie Nguyen.
Earlier, the film makers didn’t heed the office’s request for removing bloody, violent scenes twice and went ahead with the filming and production. They also defiantly set the public screening date without the release permit.
Meanwhile, audience opinions on this film are mixed, with a number of people showing support for it and hoping it would be spared from alterations or screening ban.