‘Uncharted’ continues its commercial career around the world and there are still three countries where its premiere was pending: China on March 14, the Netherlands on the 17th of the same month and Vietnam on the 18th. although finally the latter has decided to cancel and prohibit its projection due to a geographical conflict. According to Reuters, the Vietnamese film department will not allow the film to reach its commercial theaters because it contains a scene where a map appears in which the known as “nine point line”, a line drawn by the Government of the People’s Republic of China in the South China Sea marking a reef territory it claims as its own. Sovereignty over all or part of the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands, rich in oil and other natural resources, has been a matter of dispute for years between the Philippines, the People’s Republic of China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Republic of China and Vietnam. .
According to China, the territory should be under its sovereignty based on the Qing dynasty map of the Chinese Empire, and that includes some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. In 2013, the Philippines brought the case before the tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which in 2016 issued its verdict: “China has no legal basis to claim historical rights to the resources within the nine point line nor exercise exclusive control over its waters.” However, China has ignored the court’s ruling.
“The film has been banned from distribution because upon viewing it we discovered that it contains an illegal image of the infamous nine point line”Vietnam’s state news agency reports, citing Vi Kien Thanh, head of the government body in charge of licensing and censoring foreign films. It is estimated that, even though it is a small market, this will cost Sony approximately one million dollars. So far the film starring Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg and Antonio Banderas has grossed around $300 million globally according to Box Office Mojo. ‘Uncharted’ is directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay by Rafe Judkins, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, and rounding out the cast are Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle and Steven Waddington.
In 2018 Vietnam cut a scene from ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ because one of the bags carried by one of the characters showed a world map showing this area of dispute under the control of Beijing. The country also did not allow DreamWorks’ ‘Abominable’ to be in theaters for more than 10 days again because this line was seen on a map in the film and the national distributor was fined. In 2020 the series ‘Put Your Head On My Shoulder’ and ‘Madam Secretary’ were censored to eliminate similar maps and the Netflix series ‘Pine Gap’ is seen there with fewer episodes because there are dialogues that mention the conflict, although they are not positioned from China.
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