Sony’s Uncharted movie hit American theaters last month on February 18th, 2022. Despite varying reviews, the action-adventure video-game-to-film-adaptation featuring Tom Holland was highly anticipated and beat box office expectations. About a month after its American release, news came about from one country who one could say left a very negative review of Uncharted. Vietnam has blocked Sony’s Uncharted over the South China Sea map.
Vietnam has banned the domestic distribution of Sony’s Uncharted movie over a scene featuring a map of the South China Sea. In Vietnam, the Department of Cinema is a government body responsible for licensing and censoring foreign films. According to the state-run Vietnam News Agency, Vi Kien Thanh, the head of the Department of Cinema,
“The film was banned from distribution after we watched it and found it contained an illegal image of the infamous nine-dash line,… Therefore, this movie will be banned from screening.”
The state media reported on Saturday that Sony’s Uncharted featured a scene with the infamous U-shaped “nine-dash line,” which is used on Chinese maps to illustrate its claims over vast areas of the resource-rich South China Sea. This includes a region of what Vietnam regards as its land but submerged under an area of relatively shallow water. This area is otherwise known as Vietnam’s continental shelf, where oil concessions have been awarded. This map is a problem because it shows a contestable line declared by China to stake its claim to large parts of the South China Sea.
Sony’s Uncharted is not the first time Vietnam has blocked films from distribution. Just a few years ago, in 2019, the Dreamworks animated film Abominable was pulled from theaters. Even more recently, in 2021, they’ve ordered Netflix to remove some episodes of the Pine Gap series over the same issue.
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