Regarding movie censorship, Vietnam’s cultural authorities have put out a proposal that resembles an adult version of the playground “five-second rule”: five seconds of onscreen sexual passion is acceptable, but any more than that, and you’re in danger.
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The plan was revealed at a meeting on Friday in Hanoi by Ngo Phuong Lan, the chairman of Vietnam’s national cinema office, according to the Thanh Nien newspaper. The new criteria would require Vietnamese films to feature no more than three sex scenes, each lasting no more than five seconds.
The actions are consistent with the nation’s long history of strict sexual restriction. Vietnamese censors removed the explicit parts from Fifty Shades of Grey earlier this year, cutting the movie’s duration by twenty minutes.
Filmmakers from Vietnam are incensed, claiming that the regulations will unreasonable restrict their creative freedom.
Renowned filmmakers Nguyen Thanh and Van Bui Tuan Dung expressed disapproval in the Vietnamese press, contending that a time restriction was an inadequate measure for controlling sexual material in movies because what is really shown and how it is presented matters far more.
Van informed Thanh Nien, “Some shots are less than a second, but they are still unbearable.”
The CEO of Studio A Vietnam, Nguyen Van Nhiem, made the case that the production and creative merit of an erotic movie scene should be evaluated instead of its arbitrary duration.
The proposed law has also drawn criticism for just addressing female nudity in its wording, allowing onlookers to speculate as to whether male nudity would be completely acceptable or had not even been taken into consideration because of sexism.
Vietnam’s larger proposal to implement a reformed film ratings system, which would create a new category for films judged appropriate exclusively for audiences 18 years old and above, includes the five-second limit as only one component. Prior to finalizing the guidelines, the National Movie Bureau has stated that it would take public feedback into account. Early in 2016 is when the new rating system is anticipated to take effect.