CHO LON (intense martial art film) banned in Vietnam: Worldwide consequences

According to popular action film news blog Film Combat Syndicate, a highly anticipated Vietnamese martial arts action film has been banned by the Vietnam censorship board! Government censorship at its finest, people.

On Friday morning, global cinema news site wrote..

Cho Lon violated the ‘Law of Cinema’ when showing scenes of gangsters blatantly set in battle, chaotic fighting with knives, swords, machetes, with blood spilling everywhere … without the interference of government, polices, people or any other social forces.

Recently the producers sent the edited version of Cho Lon, which cut some violent scenes and inserted some appropriate scenes. But it’s still not repaired overall, so the Central Board of Film Evaluation of the Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism shall not issue licenses for Cho Lon.

I’m not entirely surprised at the reaction of some aged censor board members, but more so at the consequences of such censorship in today’s “global marketplace”. One would think that a film such as this could still bypass the government censorship and find a way to be leaked online.. but the withdrawal of their distribution licenses virtually bans the filmmakers from making any money from such an endeavour. It’s very unfortunate to see a project with so much hype, and work put behind it, go to some “storage vault” with other banned films.

Here is the trailer (click on “cc” for English subtitles):

The fight scenes in the trailer look ridiculously good. I am a constant student of the art of movement, and I would have loved to study the coordinator’s and performers’ creativity in detail.

As someone who’s worked, and literally bled (which I’m sure happened on set in this film), for projects that haven’t been able to see the light of day..I’m devastated to see this happen to a project which is in its final stages. Jokingly, I suggested that someone should make their own distribution “agency” which would help banned films find an audience.. and perhaps funding of some sort.

QUESTION: How do you feel about government-level censorship, and its global effects? Would you like to find a way to watch films such as this?



Rustic Bodomov is a Hollywood Stuntman and Stunt Coordinator, who shares his experiences in the action film industry. He also creates instructional and entertainment YouTube content under the name Rustic B

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  • ActionFilmFanatic

    I’m down to help find out how to distribute this!

  • Johnny Black

    Put it on the internet.

    • rusticb

      But the trick is, how do they get it out of the country..? thanks for the reply!

      • Volleyball

        They could upload it to a ftp server in sweeden or in philipines.

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  • Monkibuns

    Distribution would be great but unless the director is going to make money it’s better to sit on it and hope the Vietnamese censors develop a better ratings system and a more forward thinking attitude!
    I worked on this film and I can safely say its some of the best fighting I have seen in any movie. It’s raw and real and extremely well done.