The first wave of titles has been announced for the New York Asian Film Festival, and while there's nothing in this year's lineup yet from a Thai director, there is a movie set in Thailand that was so shocking to the authorities, it was banned from being shown at last year's Bangkok International Film Festival.
Here's what NYAFF organizers Subway Cinema have to say about Children of the Dark:
Children of the Dark [is] a Japanese movie shot in Thailand about trafficking in kids, both for sex and for their spare organs. You’d expect this to be a finger-wagging, censorious, preachy movie but you’d be wrong. A go-for-broke, disgusting and wildly upsetting plunge into the deepest pits of human hell, this is the kind of film that basically takes a flamethrower to society and then screams while everything burns. It was banned in Thailand for its “negative portrayal of Thailand and Thai people” but this movie has plenty of hate for everyone, specifically the Westerners and Japanese who travel to Thailand to feast on its exploited children. If you wanted to brush this subject under the carpet and forget about it, this movie drags it back out and shakes it in your face.
It was so strong, even the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand asked director Junji Sakamoto to trim it just a tiny bit when they screened the DVD recently at the FCCT clubhouse.
Thing is, if Children of the Dark hadn't been banned at the BKKIFF, I wonder what kind of reception it would be getting today?
The New York Asian Film Festival runs from June 19 to July 5.
(Via TwitchFilm.net, @NipponCinema)