Directed by Ruben Fleischer, “ Uncharted ”, released in France on February 16, 2002, is the first adaptation of the famous eponymous video game. Did you know that the feature film had been banned from being released in Vietnam? Focus on the reasons for this censorship.
Uncharted : one of the best video game adaptations
Initially, Uncharted is a video game license produced by Sony and developed by Playstation. The very first opus, Uncharted : Drake’s Fortune released in 2007 and met with some success. Fifteen years later, 8 games have been developed, and 41.7 million copies (all opuses combined) have been sold around the world. The story follows Nathan Drake and Sully, two modern-day archaeologists who search for the finest treasures possible across the globe.
Given the success of the license, sony decides to wear Uncharted on the big screen. The realization of this first adaptation is entrusted to Ruben Fleischer (Welcome to Zombieland, Venom) while Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg are cast as Nathan Drake and Sully. Although the film has divided critics, it is, for fans, simply one of the best adaptations of video games to cinema (at the same time we start from afar). On the box office side, Uncharted brought in more than 401 million dollars in revenue worldwide.
The film banned in Vietnam
Basically, Uncharted had to go out in Vietnam without any problem. The film was even expected on March 18, 2022 on Vietnamese soil. However, after viewing the work, the Vietnamese government reconsidered its decision and preferred to ban it. Vi Kien Thanh, the director of the Vietnamese Film Department, told the media Zing State :
During the film’s review, the National Board of Rating and Classification discovered that an image of the nine-dash line appeared in the film. Therefore, this film will be banned from screening.
The line in nine strokes? For those who know a little about Vietnamese politics, this term may ring a bell. The nine-dash line, also called bull’s tongue because of its shape, is a geographical boundary located in the South China Sea. Created by China, this border allows the Asian country to claim certain islands located in these waters. A decision that obviously does not please the Hanoi government.
Immediately after World War II, during the Treaty of San Francisco in 1946, the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands are both claimed by China and Vietnam. Soon after, the Philippines also claimed these islands. China has therefore added on its various maps of the world a line in nine strokes to insert these islets on its own territory. The Chinese government has advanced its historical rights to legitimize this geographical application. In 2016, a court in The Hague took up this case. The Hague then asserted that China has no particular reason to claim these lands.
So, because of all this political mishmash, Vietnam has banned the broadcast of Uncharted. Indeed, one of the cards used by the characters, therefore represents and assumes this line in nine strokes. Vietnam therefore took this radical decision to censor the film to make its political and geographical rights heard. This is not the first time a movie has been banned in Vietnam because of the nine-dash line. Indeed, in 2019, the animated film Abominable was pulled from theaters in Vietnam for the same reason.