Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Christmas present for Tanwarin and Insects in the Backyard?

Insects in the Backyard was a landmark film for a lot of reasons. Besides being the best film Tanwarin Sukkhapisit has made, the drama of sexual and family dysfunction also pushed the boundaries of what could be presented in a publicly released Thai film.

It was too much for Thai censors in 2010, whose kneejerk reaction to Tanwarin's transgender father and his two sexually active teenagers was to ban the film.

Tanwarin fought back, and with the help of friendly lawyers, took her case to court. Now, her five-year long legal battle appears headed for a happy result, with news coming out during my travels that the ban is "likely" to be lifted.

So now the film has become a test case of the new Thai film ratings law, and might set a legal precedent for what Thai filmmakers can show onscreen.

In addition to determining that there wasn't actually a legal reason to ban the film (it doesn't, for example, violate "national security", "public order" or "morality"), the  court also said Tanwarin is owed 10,000 baht in compensation. The actual ruling will be read on December 25, so it could be a merry Christmas for Tanwarin.

The Bangkok Post has story, and there is coverage at Matichon, MThai, and Voice TV.

And Kong Rithdee says more about it and other censorship issues in his Saturday column in the Bangkok Post. Go read that.

(Thanks to Phil J. for the tip on news I'd missed.)

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