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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
All the exterior shots in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" were meant to be filmed in India, but the local government found the script was offensive to Indian culture and denied the filming crew's permits according to Mentalfloss.
Despite agreeing to make small changes to the script, such as cutting out the word "maharajah," the government wanted rights to make the final cuts on the movie. Because of this, the crew left India. Parts of the movie were filmed in Sri Lanka, parts in London, and some were shot with painted backgrounds.
After its release, the film was banned in India. That ban has since been lifted.
"Paths of Glory" was released in 1957 to a highly polarized European audience, according to the Turner Classic Movies website.
The movie was banned in France for 20 years because the government believed that it slandered the French soldiers who had served in World War I. The filmmakers were threatened with charges of libel from France.
Italy, on the other hand, awarded Paths of Glory with the title of best foreign film of the year, and Sir Winston Churchill admired the film and described its battle scenes as some of the most accurate he'd ever seen.
"Cry Freedom" took place during apartheid in South Africa. It portrayed "rampant discrimination, political corruption and racial violence," according to TIME, and so it was hardly surprising that the South African response was less than positive.
The film was not banned in the country, although there were bomb threats and small-scale explosions when the film was released. Minister of Information Stoffel van der Merwe was particularly opposed, calling the movie propaganda and arguing that it would tarnish South Africa's global image.
The 1999 remake of "The King and I" was banned as its 1956 predecessor was in Thailand due to its inaccurate and insulting depiction of Thai culture and royalty, according to the Telegraph.
"The film-makers have made King Mongkut look like a cowboy who rides on the back of an elephant as if he is in a cowboy movie. In one scene Chow Yun-Fat pushes the king's crown and his portrait down to the floor - that's totally unacceptable," a member of the censorship board said as recorded in the Telegraph.
Since 1930, Thailand has had a strict law in place stating that the royal family must not be portrayed disrespectfully. Thai citizens who break this law may be sent to jail for up to seven years, so it follows that films dealing too lightly with the royal family will not be tolerated.
The Australian film "The Year of Living Dangerously" documented Indonesian President Suharto's rise to power in the 1960s. It was not a particularly kind depiction of the president, and as a result the film was banned for 17 years, finally available to the public in 2000, according to the New York Times.
The first screening of the film in Indonesia was massively popular, according to the Times. One student in attendance told the paper 'If the government had allowed Indonesians to view this film, they would have rebelled against the fascist dictators a long time ago.''