A French war thriller and a Russian historical epic are the latest foreign films to pass China’s censorship board.
Two European historical epics ‘Viking’ and ‘HHhH’ have passed Chinese censorship, according to sources familiar with the matter, though release dates for either of the films are yet to be announced.
‘HHhH’ was rated R for “sequences of disturbing violence, brief strong sexuality, nudity and language”. It’s probable that China’s censors have cut some of the more confronting parts of the film to afford it a wide release in China. ‘Viking’ was released in two versions, a family friendly version with an age restriction of 12+, and an unabridged version with a rating of 18+.
French war thriller ‘HHhH’ (also known as ‘The Man with the Iron Heart’) is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Laurent Binet. It tells the story of Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of Nazi commander Reinhard Heydrich during World War II. Planned by the British Special Operations Executive, the attack was conducted Czech and Slovak soldiers and was the only successful assassination of a senior Nazi leader during the War.
The release of ‘HHhH’ was likely delayed so as not to overlap with the release of the 2016 film ‘Anthropoid’, which also details the operation, and stars Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan. ‘HHhH’ stars Jason Clarke, Rosamund Pike, Jack O’Connell, Jack Reynor and Mia Wasikowska.
Russian film ‘Viking’ is based on the accounts of medieval prince Vladimir the Great’s life in exile across the frozen sea in Sweden in the 10th century. Directed by Andrei Kravchuk, best known for 2005 drama film ‘The Italian’, it features Russian stars Danila Kozlovsky and Svetlana Khodchenkova.
One of Russia’s most expensive films of 2016, ‘Viking’ became one of the top 10 movies of the international box office (excluding the U.S.) during the first weekend of its global release. It has so far grossed $32.3 million in box office sales with a budget of $20.8 million.