Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Censors ban 'Shakespeare' film

A new Thai film based on a famous William Shakespeare play has been banned by censors on the grounds that its content may cause disunity among the people.
Apromotional shot of banned film Shakespeare Must Die with director Ing Kat the back (black top).Thefilm includes a contemporary allegory about a fictitious nationwhere a popular politician comes to power.
Shakespeare Tong Tai, or Shakespeare Must Die, is directed by Ing K and Manit Sriwanichpoom.
The film is the first Thai rendition of Macbeth, a bloodstained tragedy in which a Scottish general, with the help of his insidious wife, assassinates a king to pave his way to the throne.
The film includes a contemporary allegory about a fictitious nation where a popular politician rises up the echelons of power.
A document from the Ministry of Culture's Office of Film and Video says that since the film "undermines the unity of people in the country", the censorship committee refuses to give permission to screen it in Thailand.
"The reason given is very broad," Manit said.
"I asked the committee which part of the film fits that verdict and how I should go back to fix it, but they cannot tell me which scene.
"This is a Shakespeare story. It's a tale of greed and lust for power. Since we're banned, I wonder if Thai film-makers are allowed to have opinions, to criticise and to reflect on the reality of the situation.
"There's a lot of talk about democracy, and I don't know how our film is undemocratic."
The film-makers will appeal against the decision.
Shakespeare Must Die runs for 178 minutes and was partly funded by the Ministry of Culture under the 2010 Thai Khem Khaeng stimulus scheme.
It is the second film to have been banned under the Film Act 2009. Thanwarin Sukkapisit's Insects in the Backyard was banned for its nudity and scenes of students prostituting themselves.
The committee that banned the film was chaired by Pol Maj Gen Anek Samplang, who could not be reached for comment. The previous film by Ing K and Manit was a four-hour documentary, Citizen Juling, which looked at the southern unrest and the killing of teacher Juling Pongkanmool. Despite focusing on content that could be deemed sensitive, the film passed the censors and was released in one cinema in 2010.