Thursday, November 11, 2010
Censors ban release of Insects in the Backyard
Well, the movie does have possibly the first use of a strap-on dildo in a Thai film intended for legal release. So there's that.
The debut feature of filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, Insects in the Backyard has been banned from commercial release by Thailand's board of censors.
Tanwarin directs and stars in the comedy and social drama, portraying a transvestite widower father who has an increasingly dysfunctional relationship with his teenage daughter and son. The movie addresses sexuality and gender issues, and has scenes involving masturbation. The teenage characters become prostitutes and, while they are wearing their school uniforms, engage in various sexual acts with a variety of clients.
“The film’s content goes against public order or morality,” the board said.
Insects in the Backyard had its world premiere last month in the Dragons and Tigers Competition at the Vancouver International Film Festival. It screened twice at the ongoing World Film Festival of Bangkok.
At the question-and-answer session after last Saturday's screening, Tanwarin said she hoped to give the movie a local release fairly quickly, but that she would refuse to cut or censor any scenes.
She was working with Bioscope with plans to release it as part of the magazine's Indie Spirit project. Earlier this year, Bioscope and SF cinemas worked with Apichatpong Weerasethakul to release the Cannes Golden Palm winner Uncle Boonmee Who Recalled His Past Lives.
News of the ban was first reported on Bioscope's Facebook page.
Despite the explicit nature of the film, Tanwarin told The Nation that she did not expect the film to be banned. She had applied for the 20- rating, Thailand's most restrictive motion-picture rating, which limits films to audiences aged 20 and older.
“This film is not supposed to be viewed by those younger than that,” said Tanwarin, who has been making short films since 2001, many of them award-winning, and also works extensively in Thailand's film industry as a casting director and acting coach.
She said she would appeal and vowed not to cut any scenes to win approval.