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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Vietnam lures Hollywood crews but censorship hangs over film sector

If conflict is at the heart of a good movie, then Vietnam’s cinematic tussle is this: can it attract Hollywood to make movies in the country while still censoring filmmakers?

The south-east Asian country last month revised its Cinema Law, detailing the hoops media companies must jump through to get permission for activities from shooting on location to screening films online. One of the aims is to attract production of more blockbusters like Kong: Skull Island and Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, but some say Vietnam has lost the plot. The updated law also bans a wide catalogue of content, including films deemed to contain “reactionary ideas and social evils”.

Observers ask whether the one-party state’s controls could hamstring a local industry vying with Thailand and the Philippines for investment and trying to move beyond foreigners’ obsession with Vietnam war…

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