10 movies that offended foreign governments (10 items)

Bethan Owen

July 21, 2014

North Korea has recently issued threats against the United States based on James Franco and Seth Rogan's upcoming comedy "The Interview," which features an assassination plot against North Korean president Kim Jong Un. As it turns out, this film is nowhere near the first movie to aggravate a nation. Compiled here is a list of films that have, for one reason or another, offended foreign governments.

1 of 10. 7 Years in Tibet

Brad Pitt was banned from China due to his role in the film "7 Years in Tibet," according to TIME.

The Chinese government disapproved of the film because of its positive portrayal of Tibet and the Dali Lama and its perceived negative portrayal of Chinese authorities. China, which has had a long-standing conflict with Tibet over whether the country is sovereign or under Chinese rule, was not pleased that the Western movie seemed to be taking sides on the issue.

2 of 10. Red Dawn

The recent "Red Dawn" remake featuring a North Korean takeover of the United States was originally planned to feature a Chinese invasion, according to Hollywood Reporter.

When details of the plot were leaked online, the Chinese press was not pleased that China had been cast as a villain in yet another American movie. Headlines such as "U.S. reshoots Cold War movie to demonize China" and "American movie plants hostile seeds against China" were used to describe the movie in Beijing's The Global Times.

Largely because of this Chinese upset, according to the Telegraph, the movie was reshot using North Korean villains.

"There would have been a real backlash," Dan Mintz of DMG entertainment told the Telegraph.

3 of 10. 2012

Kim Il-Sung, the founder of North Korea, would have celebrated his 100th birthday in April of 2012. Because of this, the North Korean government banned the movie "2012" and charged anyone in possession of it with “a grave provocation against the development of the state,” according to the Telegraph.

They feared that "2012," a disaster movie featuring the world being torn apart by forces of nature, would jinx its lucky year.

4 of 10. Grapes of Wrath

"The Grapes of Wrath" was released in 1940 and was too capitalist for a Soviet audience, according to the online literary journal LISA.

Despite the plot, which focused on an American family struggling to support themselves during the dust bowl, the Soviet government believed it promoted an anti-communist agenda. Specifically, the idea that "even the poorest Americans can own a car," according to LISA.

5 of 10. Persepolis

"Persepolis" began as a graphic novel by Iranian author and artist Marjane Satrapi. In 2007, it became an animated feature-length film. The film, which documents the author's life during and after the Iranian revolution, was not well received by her home country of Iran, according to NPR.

Despite being well-received enough to become France's submission to the Oscars for best foreign-language film, Iran found its depiction of the country unflattering and banned the film. With Iranian influence, "Persepolis" was also dropped from the Bangkok International Film Festival.
Gainesville, TX,
July 21, 2014

There are plenty movies portraying the US in a bad light. I just don't watch those I find offensive. I;ve walked out of the theater before when I see a movie that is offensive to me and I can do it again. To be offended is the price we pay for free speech. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"

2. Howard Beal
Provo, UT,
July 21, 2014

I for one don't apologize that movies like Cry Freedom made apartheid in South Africa look bad, nor do I feel bad that a movie like Seven Years in Tibet made the Chinese feel bad either.

3. cjb
Bountiful, UT,
July 21, 2014

The president of North Korea imports expensive food for himself, while many North Koreans starve. He isn't worth making a complimentary movie about.

4. esodije
July 21, 2014

"Midnight Express" - most of it was made up, but it sure made Turkey look bad.

5. Howard Beal
Provo, UT,
July 21, 2014

One of the best movies ever with one of the best Jack Lemmon movies ever. The movie is called "Missing." It's about an American journalist that goes missing in Chile in 1973 when Pinochet took over the government. It didn't make Chile look very good, the thing is not once was Chile mentioned in the movie but they still hated it. It also made the American diplomats look really bad, one even sued.