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12th March
2008
  

Censorship Syndrome...

Thai Appeal over art house cuts rejected

Syndromes and a Century poster The Thai censorship appeals committee has upheld the decision to cut four scenes from the art-house movie Saeng Satawat (Syndromes and a Century) and ordered the director to cut an additional scene as well. We upheld the verdict because the movie contains inappropriate images of doctors and monks, said Police Major-General Somdej Khaokam of the Central Investigation Bureau, who chaired the hearing yesterday.

The film's director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, appealed after the Censorship Board ordered him to cut four scenes from Saeng Satawat last April.

These scenes featured a monk playing a guitar, doctors drinking whisky, doctors kissing and two monks playing with a radio-controlled toy.

The appeal committee ordered him to also cut a scene showing statues of Prince Mahidol of Songkhla and the late Princess Mother.

Apichatpong, who defended his case before the committee, expressed his extreme disappointmentL It was like I was on trial for being a communist . But he said he would cut the film as instructed: I will release the mutilated version as a statement and as a historical record of Thailand.

 

17th March
2008
  

Update: Blanking the Censor...

Thai director to present censored film with blanks

Syndromes and a Century poster After dealing with the censorship of his film for nearly a year, Apichatpong "Joe" Weerasethakul will finally screen his acclaimed Sang Sattawat (Syndromes and a Century), with silent, black frames to replace six scenes the Board of Censors found objectionable.

It's cynical, but actually it's a statement for the audience to make them aware that they are being blinded from getting information in this society, says the director.

Apichatpong first planned to show Syndromes last April in a limited release in Bangkok cinemas, but he cancelled the screenings when the censors said four scenes had to go. A petition against the action was started, and the director formed the Free Thai Cinema Movement to call for better treatment for filmmakers.

With the election of a new government and a new film law on the books, Apichatpong said he submitted his film to the censors again, hoping they would view it differently. The censors asked that two more scenes be excised.

I was wrong. It's worse than the first time, but it was still worth the effort. I learned that the problem with the new film law is not the law itself, but the people who will be enforcing it, he says.

For a limited-release screening by the Thai Film Foundation, Syndromes will have the six censored scenes replaced by silent, scratched black frames - the longest of which runs for seven minutes.

 

24th August
2012

 Update: Shakespeare Lives...

Banned Thai film gets a showing at South Korean film festival

shakespeare must die Banned Thai political drama Shakespeare Must Die , directed by Ing K, will be among the films screening in the Asian Competition section of the 6th Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival (CinDi).

The director said at the opening ceremony:

I thank CinDi for inviting my film even though they had to ship it under a secret name -- Teenage Love Story -- because the film is banned in Thailand, where people live in fear. I'm suing the government so I shouldn't even be here.

We are fighting because in Thailand, directors have less than human rights. But I promise Shakespeare Must Die is not boring. I made it like a Mexican soap opera and a Thai horror film. You can see it, even though Thai people can't see it.

 

11th June
2014

 Offsite Article: Thailand's toil and trouble over divisive Shakespeare film...

shakespeare must dieA court case attempting to revoke Thailand's ban of Shakespeare Must Die rumbles on through the current period of military dictatorship

See article from theguardian.com

 

12th June
2014

 Update: Thailand 1984...

Screening of a film version of 1984 cancelled after police warning
1984 DVD John Hurt Nineteen Eighty-Four is a 1984 UK Sci-Fi romance by Michael Radford.
Starring John Hurt, Richard Burton and Suzanna Hamilton. YouTube icon IMDb

Summary Notes

After The Atomic War the world is divided into three states. London is a city in Oceania, ruled by a party who has total control over all its citizens. Winston Smith is one of the bureaucrats, rewriting history in one of the departments. One day he commits the crime of falling in love with Julia. They try to escape Big Brother's listening and viewing devices, but, of course, nobody can really escape...

A screening of 1984 , the film version of George Orwell's anti-authoritarian novel, has been cancelled in Thailand after police claimed it breached a ban on political gatherings, an organiser said.

The novel by George Orwell has become one of the unofficial symbols of resistance against military rule.

The Punya Movieclub in Chiang Mai said it was scheduled to screen the film but decided to cancel the showing after police said it would be illegal, according to one of the organisers who said:

We just wanted to show the content of the film because many people are talking about it right now... We show all types of movies. We didn't want to start a political movement.

When we found out the police had a problem with our event we decided to cancel, because we are afraid the people who come to watch will face problems.

Political assemblies of more than five people were banned under martial law and continued after the coup by army chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha. The ban is enforced very selectively, and has never been invoked at a cinema.

One form of resistance to the coup has been reader - individuals or small groups sitting on public walkways reading Orwell's novel. Last week, protesters unfurled a giant poster of Gen Prayuth's face with the words Thailand 1984 written below.

The three-finger salute from The Hunger Games films has become another symbol of resistance against the junta, which has curtailed some freedom of speech and the press.

 

26th December
2015

  Bugged by Censors...

Thai court upholds ban on trans film with a brief gay sex scene
insects in the backyard The Thai Administrative Court has ruled that a LGBTI-themed film, Insects in the Backyard which has been banned since 2010, violates Section 287 of the Criminal Code.

The court says the short pornographic scene in the film violates Thai laws that prohibit the screening of pornographic films, in their entirety, or in part; and has impacts on morality and social decency.

The film by indie filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit reportedly contains an offending three-second scene where characters in the film are seen watching an X-rated gay movie which depicts graphic depiction of sexual organs and sexual intercourse, according to the Bangkok Post.

The court said the film can only be screened if the offending scene is cut to get a 20+ for audiences above the age of 20.

Following the film's ban by the Culture Ministry's National Film Board in 2010, the film's director filed a case with the Administrative Court to challenge the ban, making her the first filmmaker in Thailand to do so.

 

7th July
2016

 Update: Solidarity amongst dictatorships...

Twilight Over Burma is banned by the Thai film censor from showing at a film festival
twilight over burmaTwilight Over Burma is a 2015 Austria TV drama by Sabine Derflinger.
Starring Zoe Addams, Sahajak Boonthanakit and Daweerit Chullasapya. IMDb

The U.S. scholarships Austrian student Inge and young mining student from Burma Sao Kya Seng fall in love. But it's only at the lavish wedding ceremony that Inge discovers her husband is the ruling prince of the Shan state of Burma. After a coup staged by the Burmese military, Sao is imprisoned. Inge does everything she can to free him. Base on the true story of Inge Sargent.

Burma: Banned from June 2016 film festival

An Austrian TV movie, Twilight Over Burma, has been banned from a Burmese human rights film festival by the local film censor.

Burma's Film Classification Board's deputy director general Daw Thida Tin told the BBC that the film had been banned for the sake of national unity and also the stability of the country and of our people .

the film festival organisers say they were also told that the censors saw the film as damaging to the image of the army.

Thailand: Banned from July 2016 film festival

The film was banned by the Thai film censor from a film festival of films made in Thailand.

The reason was attributed to solidarity amongst dictatorships. Though the organisers have not issued any official statement, the reason behind the withdrawal is said to be related to bilateral ties between Thailand and Burma.

The film, known in Thai as Singsaengchan and was mainly shot in Chiang Mai province and at Inle Lake in Shan State's capital Tongyi.