Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Film censorship in Thailand in 2009
In a recent blog post, the Movie Audience Network in Thailand looks back at 2009, reviewing the first year that Thailand's motion-picture ratings system has been in effect.
Before the ratings came online in August, two films were banned from commercial release, Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno -- probably just for the title and premise alone -- and the teen slasher thriller All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.
Thunska Pansittivorakul's This Area Is Under Quaratine could not be shown at November's World Film Festival of Bangkok due to lack of "appropriate documents".
Before its release early last year, Meat Grinder was ordered to change its Thai title and had some scenes cut. Censors feared the gory thriller, about a woman who chops people up and serves their flesh with beef noodles, would show Thailand's food vendors in a bad light.
Censored Hollywood releases included My Bloody Valentine 3D and Watchmen, which had the pixellation and blurring of the old regime. Also, the Thai DVD of Watchmen is censored too, so don't buy it in Thailand.
The creepy-kid thriller Orphan, released just before the ratings came into effect, was also censored.
Bruno, which had a limited release in July, was also censored in some cinemas (see comments below).
After the ratings system was enacted, at least two Thai films were reportedly deemed politically sensitive and were ordered cut or re-edited. Sahamongkol's horror anthology Maha'lai Sayong Kwan (Haunted Universities) made references to students being killed by soldiers during the 1970s pro-democracy demonstrations in Bangkok. And Manop Udomdej's Suay ... Samurai (Vanquisher) had scenes about violence in southern Thailand.