Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 06:12
AsiaViews, Edition: 36/VII/December2010
A director has staged a mock funeral of a recently banned film, complete with a mournful speech about the deceased and guests placing sandalwood flowers at a miniature crematorium.
"At first I thought it would be a fun event," said Tanwarin Sukkapisit about the satirical funeral. "But it turned out to be really sad because I've been working on the film for two years. It was like raising a baby and now the baby is gone."
Insect in the Backyard was banned by the ratings committee two weeks ago for being against public morals.
The film tells the story of a cross-dressing father, played by katoey Tanwarin, and his dysfunctional family. It has a masturbation scene and scenes of students engaged in prostitution.
Tanwarin, wearing a black dress, dark shades and make-up, gave a short speech before leading about 30 guests, most of them also wearing black, to the compound of the Thai Film Archive, where the cremation took place yesterday.
There was a funeral wreath and framed photograph of the director from a scene in the film.
At 2.30pm, Songyos Sukmakanant, president of the Thai Film Directors Association, lit a small funeral pyre containing a DVD of Tanwarin's film. Guests then took turns to place sandalwood flowers in the pyre.
"It was just a movie," said Tanwarin. "It shouldn't have had to come to this."
The Thai Film Foundation and Thai Film Archive had planned to screen the film yesterday to mark Constitution Day. They hoped that would be possible if the film was shown for educational purposes with no commercial gain. They also planned to hold an academic seminar featuring legal experts.
But on Thursday the Office of Cultural Promotion, which oversees the ratings of all films, sent an urgent letter to organisers reminding them that they would break the law if they screened the film. Even the film's trailer wasn't allowed to be shown.
The punishment for screening a film without permission is a maximum one-year jail term and a fine of 200,000 baht to one million baht.
Organisers decided to cancel the screening but hold the seminar. They also screened an old short film shot on Constitution Day in 1933, plus the political film Thong Pan from 1974.
"In my view, the law must stipulate clearly what's allowed and what's not," said Sawitree Srisuk, a law lecturer from Thammasat University who spoke at the seminar. "To use a broad term such as 'public morals' is not sufficient."
Jetsada Anujaree, a representative from the Lawyers Council of Thailand, said the selection of the ratings committee members should be changed to allow more participation from industry people and less control by state officers.
Tanwarin has appealed to the National Film and Video Board about the ban.
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By: Kong Rithdee
Bangkok Post 11 December 2010
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 December 2010 06:12 )