Banned movie “Chinatown” launched to the Internet

VietNamNet Bridge – The unfinished version of “Bui Doi Cho Lon” or “Chinatown”, the movie which was banned from screening in Vietnam, quickly spread on the Internet on July 5.

Johnny Tri Nguyen in “Chinatown”. On the morning of July 5, the 1.5 hour version of “Chinatown” was posted on a forum and then on Youtube. Although the download links were quickly deleted after a few minutes, many new links appeared.

The movie director – Vietnamese American Charlie Nguyen – was shocked to know that his brainchild was rampantly disseminated on the Internet. He shared on Facebook: “Don’t talk about the ban from screen of Chinatown. Don’t talk about who leaked the movie without thinking of the heavy losses of the manufacturer and the dangers when they have to face the law. I was totally shocked and grieved as if someone killed my children.”

“This is a draft version, with incomplete sound, light, color, special effects and frame rhythm. This is the version that I never want anyone to see because it is an undone cuisine! We spent much effort and a lot of money to complete it for the audience. But now I have to sit here looking people watching a really bad draft and judge the film based on it. The one who leaked the film is the one who lacks knowledge and is too cruel to Chinatown and our film crew. Hopefully he will be arrested and punished by the law,” the director said.

Leading actor in the movie – Johnny Tri Nguyen – was also angry. He said that he and the crew kept hope that when the Law on Cinematography is amended, this movie will come to the audience. He was very disappointed when “Chinatown” was leaked on the net. He watched it on Youtube and realized that this is the third unfinished version.

Ms. Dinh Thanh Huong, director of Thien Ngan Film Corporation and also the producer of “Chinatown” said by noon July 5 that she just knew about the incident. “We are trying to solve and the law will handle it,” she said.

According to Thanh Nien, on the same day, Thien Ngan asked relevant agencies to investigate to find out who post the movie on the Internet. “This is a violation of the law of Vietnam, which damages the reputation and causes losses to the companies involved in producing “Chinatown,” including the Thien Ngan Film Corporation,” a representative of Thien Ngan said.

The company representative said that the version on the Internet is a draft but the one who upload it to the Internet deliberately added the name Galaxy (English name of Thien Ngan) to this version. This is a blatant slander, the representative said.

Earlier in June, “Chinatown” was banned from screening in Vietnam forever after several amendments. The reason is the movie by Charlie Nguyen “cannot be edited totally.”

“Chinatown” is the most controversial film in Vietnam so far this year.

The movie is produced at the cost of about VND16 billion ($800,000) and it has been one of the most expensive movies in Vietnam so far.

After being banned, “Chinatown” caused controversy in the public. The launch of the unfinished version on the internet has raised more questions about the copyright protection in Vietnam.

By 2pm on July 5, the link on Youtube and some download sites were removed but many netizens could still download it illegally.

T. Van