Thursday, May 11, 2006

"Sensitivity training for Thai filmmakers

Reacting to the Cambodian backlash about the Thai horror film Ghost Game, which depicted the Khmer Rouge's Tuol Sleng torture center, Thailand's Ministry of Culture will call a meeting with film producers to ensure that they are aware of the importance of cultural sensitivity, the Bangkok Post reported yesterday.

Cultural Monitoring Center watchdog Ladda Tangsupachai will take a break from censoring and banning DVDs to put on the meeting will take place later this month or early next month.

''I believe the film producers did not mean to offend Cambodians. They were just careless and poorly informed about our neighbor's culture,'' she was quoted as saying by the Post.

Cambodian cultural officials had called on their Thai counterparts to yank the film from cinemas, but Ladda said the ministry won't do that.

''We cannot do so. When foreign filmmakers make films that irritate Thais, we have never asked them to stop their release,'' she says.

For reference on that, see the movie The Elephant King, which has generated a little criticism in Thailand for its negative depiction of the Kingdom.

Ghost Game
has drawn criticism from the Cambodian Ministry of Culture, which has imposed a ban on it.

The Post quoted a press release from the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, which called on Thai authorities to ''act in a responsible manner and interrupt the showing of this movie in Thailand'' and lambasted Tifa Co, the producer of the film, as having been ''deeply disrespectful to the memories of the victims of this tragedy, which diminishes the extreme gravity of the events Cambodian people have endured during the Khmer Rouge era.''

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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