Article: Top 10 Thai Films That Faced Controversy Upon Release

The Thailand Film Censor Board is one of the strictest boards in the business. Not only some scenes are inappropriate but the movies which do not go along with a political statement of the government are also brutally treated. The films that do not comply with their long list of demands are banned. At the same time, some other films, despite permission, suffer controversy after their release. Sometimes the filmmakers withdrew the film themselves or decided not to release the movie fearing poor reception. We bring  you a list of ten most controversial films in the Thailand's film industry. Let’s take a look at this list.

1. Insects In The Backyard

The film was based on the story of a transgender person raising two kids in the absence of their parents. The film was banned for content deemed to be immoral and pornographic. The director of the film even sued the censor board but received no relief. The overdressed transvestites smoke too much to embarrass the kids.

2. Jan Dara

Jan Dara featured an incestuous relationship set in the 1930s. The story revolves around a family lacking in love but filled with lust. A boy who follows his father and becomes a womanizer. The boy falls in love with his father’s mistress. The movie was filled with sexually inappropriate content. The film was screened with a strict identification policy.

3. Syndromes And A Century

Syndromes and a Century garnered a lot of attention in international film festivals abroad, but wasn’t welcomed in Thailand. The film featured a few sexually and religiously controversial scenes which were to be removed but filmmakers decided not to release the movie at all. The two protagonists character’s are inspired by filmmaker’s parents.

4. Mae Bia

The story of a man who returns to Thailand after spending several years abroad. He gets involved with a woman who is a symbiote snake. The film was disturbing because of its nudity and bestiality implied.  The movie is filled with adulterous themes. The film was appreciated internationally for its artistic content.

5. Pitupoom

Pitupoom revolves around the lives of southern Thailand’s Muslim community and the discrimination they face. Rather than the controversial reception the film was pulled by the filmmakers themselves. They feared a political topic might affect the reception. The self-censorship led to no film screening even though it was highly anticipated.

6. Tongpan

The black and white documentary released in 1977, Tongpan, is based on the proposal of a dam on the Mekong river. The plan threatened the livelihood of people in northeastern Thailand and Laos. The film had communist messages underlying, which led to a ban until 2006. The film was later released in VCD format.

7. Cemetery Of Splendour

The film is based on the 1965 militia crackdown in Thailand. The filmmakers knowing the strict censorship of the Thai film industry did not even attempt to release this film. The film was universally acclaimed by its international audience. The story revolves around soldiers with sleeping sickness, which is connected to an ancient mythic site.

8. Eternity

The story revolves around a man who persues sexual relationship with his uncle’s wife. The lead actress’s scenes in nudity were censored and banned. The film had a hidden political manifesto, a story of love, lust, and betrayal of the extreme. The film is a critique to Thailand’s class divide.

9. Long Thang

Unlike the female roles played by Thai cinema of innocent women, Thang Long revolves around a female seductress. The film was filled with provocative and inappropriate scenes as per the standards of the Thai audience, which led to a lawsuit against its filmmakers, The audience finds this film uncomfortable to watch.

10. Blissfully Yours

The film was controversial for its inappropriate sexual scenes, censored, and multiple scenes were cut off. The reception wasn’t as great as expected in Thailand but was approved by the audiences abroad. The story revolves around an illegal Burmese immigrant. Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s one of the greatest internationally acclaimed masterpieces.