Inappropriate conduct

17 10 2015

ApichatpongApichatpong Weerasethakul is one of Thailand’s most significant filmmakers. In 2010, he was the winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

Now he has said that “he won’t show his latest film Cemetery of Splendour in … Thailand, since doing so would force him to exercise self-censorship or face personal risk.”

Cemetery of Splendour premiered at the Un Certain Regard section ofthe 2015 Cannes Film Festival in May, and received some good reviews. It contains “coded references to Thai politics.” Reviewers say that these references require “a somewhat studied eye in the Thai situation to discern.”

Apichatpong told the BBC: “Whatever movies we have produced, we don’t want to show it to Thai audiences because in the current situation we don’t have genuine freedom…“. He added: “I don’t want to be part of a system where the movie director has to exercise self-censorship…“.

Apichatpong explained:

I feel there is more violence in our country than in others that are in similar situations…. And I am sad to see that I don’t have any power or rights to speak because I know if I speak, harm will come to me.”

The Hollywood Reporter explains:

Although internationally acclaimed, Apitchatpong’s work has gotten limited exposure at home. His 2006 feature, Syndromes and a Century, was planned for a limited theatrical release there, but became held up when Thailand’s Board of Censors demanded the removal of four scenes, two showing doctors kissing and drinking in a hospital, and others depicting Buddhist monks playing guitar or playing with a remote control flying toy. The board said the scenes displayed “inappropriate conduct.”

In fact, as Apichatpong is explaining, it is the military regime that engages in “inappropriate conduct.”