Johnny Nguyen's CHO LON Banned in Vietnam, Rest Of World To Miss Out

Trung Rwo, Writer
It sucks, I know, but it's official. According to the Vietnam Film Department, Cho Lon (original title: Bụi đời Chợ Lớn) has been banned. Given that local clearance is required before Vietnamese producers are permitted to release a film internationally, this means the film isn't just banned in Vietnam, but won't be seen anywhere.

In April, the Nguyen brothers' project was blocked by Vietnamese censors due to the violence of the killing between gangsters in Chinatown. And today, the powers have spoken, ensuring the latest action flick of Johnny Tri Nguyen will go straight to the dusty warehouse of Banned Vietnamese Films. As the Central Board of Film Evaluation of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism concluded: 

Cho Lon violated the Law of Cinema when showing scenes of gangsters blatantly set in battle, chaotic fighting with knives, swords, machetes, with blood spilling everywhere ... without the interference of government, polices, people or any other social forces.

Recently the producers sent the edited version of Cho Lon, which cut some violent scenes and inserted some appropriate scenes. But it's still not repaired overall, so the Central Board of Film Evaluation of the Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism shall not issue licenses for Cho Lon.

I heard Moebius was banned in Korea yesterday, but it's still luckier than Cho Lon. This news means it can't pass the Vietnamese censorship, which means it can't receive the popularization licenses, which means it can't be shown anywhere on Earth, which means 16 billion VND budget of the film will go straight to hell.

That's harsh! And it's now breaking news in Vietnam. The Nguyen brothers haven't said anything about this as yet, and maybe they're busy filming the new film Young Teo. Let's hope that Young Teo won't suffer the same fate as Cho Lon

To see what we're missing out on watch the trailer for Cho Lon below.
Around the Internet:
  • Fer

    Booooo

  • That One Guy

    Whoa, didn't come to the site for a week and this is the first thing I see on the front page.
    A quick search and I realized that if a movie like "The Hunger Games" can be banned from Vietnam for being too violent then seeing this movie banned for its violence isn't much of a stretch... but worldwide? Wow.

  • Andrew Hernandez

    The Rebel and Clash were pretty violent films that featured the same content that the Board objected to in Cho Lon. So what made the difference here?

    One would think that the producers would bribe the higher-ups or do some other schmoozing to get the movie released.

    I'm sure that the film makers must feel betrayed by their own government, and it would seem possible that they would release Cho Lon elsewhere and just accep their banishment from Vietnam.

  • Snoop Lion

    We just published a followup article that might explain (at least a bit) your question: http://twitchfilm.com/2013/06/...

  • Phim Giang Ho

    Well that is one side of the story regarding the reason. We all heard the elder said," When in Rome, act like Roman." At the same time banning this film, the Censorship Board allowed another film to be release in the country, which they did not allow to release earlier due to violent natures. The differences here are how pompously the Nguyen brothers handled the whole thing, upon learning the Censorship Board intention. Instead of shutting up like the good "Quiet Americans", they went on a media blitz from Facebook to fan club, to creating hate websites directly attack the Censorship Board members personally. Instead of do what he does best, kung-fu...ing, Johnny bitched to the media and they ate it up. The 'not-so Quiet Americans' really closed the deal by bringing a local 'lawyer' to debate the law with the Censorship Board. Do they know this is still a Communist country? Do their arrogant start studded attitudes got the better of them now? or the Censorship Board just did a $1 million dollar spanking? The words on the street are to the Nguyen brothers, "now you done it, the Board will scrutinize every detail on everyone's else film now. THEY DESERVED IT!

  • I can't speak to what fans may have done, but I can say absolutely as a member of the press, I approached Johnny for comment when the original ruling came down AND WAS TOLD NO because they wanted to respect the process. What you're saying here is factually not true.

  • rusticb

    I wrote a reply on this, from a stunman's perspective. www.rusticb.com/blogpost/cho-l...

  • I thought nobody was ever going to be a stuntman because the P&A deals were so bad!

    (Sorry, inside joke)

  • rusticb

    What's P&A? And times are rough in the LA stunt industry, that's why I launched my website to give an insider (stuntman ) perspective on the whole thing.. hopefully the online deals will be better?

  • Barry

    Karma is a bitch and this is what you
    get for abandoning your two baby daughters and wife in the United States for
    a has-been actress in Vietnam deadbeat dad Mr. Johnny Tri Nguyen!

  • Karma

    Really? Hi, my name is Karma and I'm not a bitch. Maybe it's you, Barry!

  • Tai Nguyen

    disappointed. Really want to see this film.

  • Pilee Lê

    bad thing

  • arturo

    I wonder if they can sneek the film out the country, and just give it to The Weinstein Company to release it, and just say it's there property?? Is that a long shot??lol

  • Simply no. They can sneek it out, on some private non-profit screens. But after that, don't even think about coming back to Vietnam & making films again.

  • Exactly. Producers and director (at minimum) will be black listed if the film ever appears outside of Vietnam without approval. It'll be the end of their careers.

  • Leo

    Lets try a petition on that

  • Why on earth would the Vietnamese government give a damn what a small collection of film fans outside of Vietnam think about their government policy? Hate to rain on your parade, but it's a waste of time. Change will come internally or not at all.

  • CBoFE

    Nothing to do with VN Goverment.

    It's all about VN Central Board of Film Evaluation!

    VN Central Board of Film Evaluation sucks!!

  • I may be wrong, but is this not a government funded and run agency charged with enforcing the laws set in place by the government?

  • Michael

    The number of supporters might not be small. Beyond those interested in this movie, a petition could also attract those interested in opposing film censorship if a prominent Web site, say Twitch, was to spearhead it and recruit film lovers from around the world.

  • Completely counterproductive. Look at the ruling. They object to the way the film presents Vietnamese society. What makes you think that a bunch of people saying "We want to watch Vietnamese people kill each other on screen for our amusement!" will make them feel any better about the way the film presents their society? A bunch of outsiders telling them what to do will make the situation worse, not better. Change has to come from within.

  • Michael

    "Change has to come from within."

    That often does not happen. Centuries of tradition results in social inertia. Outside influence can create the impetus for change from within if needed. It probably won't work, but it's a possibility that can't be completely discounted. If not a petition, then a forum at a University about representation in film. Wanting to have a discussion doesn't mean we're telling them what to do.

  • hutch

    Fucking. Hell.

  • Paul Bohlmeijer

    Ridiculous how a government can decide what can and can't be shown in a film. And than not only have that decision affect the local residents but a worldwide ban...

  • SLPi

    I don't think the film industry in Vietnam can really move forward if it such stupid things like this can happen. Its a shame man, A SHAMEEEE

  • Angry

    because they're communist

  • doan duy thuc

    so what? Simply, it's against vietnamese Cinematography Law.

  • Tan

    I'll show the Cinematography Law up into your a$$

  • doan duy thuc

    Come do it. Vo hoc

  • poetyingem

    vietnam Cinematography Law is fucking stupid.

  • Art Vandelay

    This is a huge upset for everyone involved. This truly sucks. Du ma may con cac!

  • freeze_love

    lol :))

  • Nguyễn Phụng Anh

    Du ma may con cac =))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) hahahahaa =)))))

  • Art Vandelay

    The only time I said it, without getting slapped in the back of the head. Just kidding. =)

  • đạt

    where are you from? Do you know the phrase " du ma may con cac!" =)) i am vietnamese

  • Art Vandelay

    Yeah, I'm Vietnamese. =)

  • đạt

    chỗ nào đấy =)) việt nam đây

  • Sleepi

    it doesnt matter. you don't have to be super curious and excited whenever somebody says your languages

  • đạt

    not related to you

  • Mileydaica

    Just like people in other countries beside English-speaking ones say "You bastard".

  • Nor do you have to act like the thought police.

  • Sleepi

    You can just look at it in a friendly perspective. All i forgot was a smiley face. Ecks dee.

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