Browse movies

Our filmmakers often chat about movie browsing. The story is bitter, sometimes frustrated, sometimes like a joke.

When I was doing a live show for singer Lam Truong in Singapore in 2007, the person who took care of the whole license for organizing and promoting was a Vietnamese student studying abroad there. In a short time, she read the law and asked the theater to answer us clearly: what to do, not to do.

Or when I was filming "Nostalgic Nostalgia" in Canada, too, as long as the two of you could organize the crew, it was not difficult to know yourself and not do anything. In fact, although the law in other countries has stricter requirements than Vietnam, it is very clear and easy to apply.

Back in the film scene or performing in Vietnam, people like me and my friends - at least 10 years old - are still very confused about what works and what doesn't. Or sometimes, one movie will work, the other won't. At times, the answer is "yes", sometimes "no", because of very emotional reasons such as violations of fine customs and traditions, issues that are sensitive, do not reflect true social reality, causing negative effects ...

I also met the brothers and sisters on the National Film Council. They are also very "open" outside, very updated situation of international film development because they also go abroad, participate in international conferences, or have children studying abroad. But in the position of the Film Council, their decisions sometimes surprised us.

Fifteen years as a professional, after a number of terms of manager and film council, I really feel that the film industry and culture are getting weaker and weaker in terms of their own voice. We are too dependent on and afraid of public opinion, politics and economy. Recently, we have not seen heavy films with the darkest topics of society, voiced criticism, attacked the negative in industries, problems in society. Because the films themselves are contentious, they do not know when censoring fate will be, the filmmakers do not dare to take risks.

Movie "Kiss of Death" 12 years ago has a line: "Not everyone can see the police also see." Movies are allowed through censorship. Now, such situations are almost impossible. Or the movie "My Goodness" has phrases that I think about now, will probably be asked to be cut off like "northern enemy" or "night robbery is enemy, robbery is mandarin" - details or the lines are very easy to say "sensitive".

Even another film by a colleague who recently talked about a school on the island was not allowed to use the word "island" because of "sensitivity of the sea and islands" while the film content was not related to this topic. So, if we make a film about the history of anti-aggression and national sovereignty protection, will China be mentioned? I really can't guess.

But as an intern, I find that the Film Council recently suffered too much pressure from the political inference of this place and that place. Psychologically, they are also weak, trying to avoid it safely. And because we are so safe and afraid of the pressure, we sometimes feel like the Council has "rather cut unjust than missed." I can also understand, for some other reason not in the control of the Council. And many opinions in the profession said that with the mechanism, the way of thinking has taken place, anyone in the position of the Board of Review is difficult to change.

Maybe someone thinks I'm advocating for the Film Council members, but culture has to have its own voice. It is a separate perspective, it is a channel of narrating and critical of life. Culture is imagination, creativity, inspiration to improve the better life. Viewers, employees, managers must understand that. If a film is about a bad police officer, that is the perspective of the creator. It's just an individual, but the movie or its character does not represent a portrait of the police. The general image of the police must be built by the industry.

The most important thing in the market of culture, arts and entertainment is that a community, an individual or a public opinion can criticize or boycott a movie that they deem wrong. For filmmakers, that's what they fear the most: the public turn away.

If we look at that, the Film Council will be a lot less pressured. They are not afraid to offend anyone. Their job then was only to evaluate the film according to the words specified in the Cinema Law. For example, what is the age restriction? No matter what kind of violence you look at, what images and lines that violate nationality and nationality are not allowed ... Everything that is explicit will not be burdened with a heavy "ghost". The picture is called "sensitive issue" as well.

The film council currently has to watch more than 200 movies a year, then sit and consider which is more sensitive, where the touches, which will be interpreted to complicate ... Objectively speaking, is The workload is too big. In my opinion, it is necessary to set up many councils according to the genre of film or the nature of the film, such as sentimental, comedy, and Asian and European film councils. And each film council does not need to crowded with over 10 people but still inadequate as today.

Do not force them to take the responsibility too seriously, nor make the audience continue to be disadvantaged for the reason that the audience is courageous.

Nguyen Quang Dung