Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thailand gets the Code

Thailand can be a great place for movies. But lately it hasn't been so great.

Government censors bowed to the demands of Christian groups and said they would chop the final 10 minutes of The Da Vinci Code, thus rendering the movie incomprehensible. But, Columbia Pictures appealed the ruling, and now the movie will be shown in Thailand uncut.

Somehow, it didn't seem fair that a group of influential Christians actually got to see the entire movie and decided that no one else - no matter what their faith is - should see it. Religion is a tricky thing.

The Da Vinci Code will still have disclaimers in Thai at the beginning and end that the movie is a work of fiction.

The tussle over The Da Vinci Code comes after a film company postponed the release of Lucky Loser, after diplomatic concerns by Laos were raised that the sports comedy and its depiction of Lao athletes with their underarm hair dyed blond might offend Lao people.

However, there was the movie Ghost Game, which offended the Cambodian government because it exploited the Khmer Rouge atrocities for the sake of a teen horror film. Despite Cambodian diplomatic protests and pleas from survivors of the brutal regime's torture, nothing was done to stop that film from being shown.

Thailand, with its rich history and culture, still has a lot of maturation to do when it comes to its handling of films.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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