12 - 17 November 2014 

The Metropolis Association is happy to partner for the second consecutive year with theCultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon. Initiated by prominent Lebanese filmmaker Jocelyne Saab, the first edition of CRIFF was launched last year in a city at war, in Tripoli, as a committed artistic gesture. This year, the festival will run simultaneously across 5 cities in Lebanon without any community boundaries. Cultural Resistance will be present in Beirut, Keserouane, South Lebanon, Tripoli and Zahle.
12 – 17 November 2014 at Metropolis Empire Sofil, Achrafieh
Ticket price: 6,000 LL


Censor Must Die

Directed by Ing K.Thursday 13 November 2014 at 6pm
2014 | Thailand | Digital, 150 min | in Thai with English subtitles
With: Manit Sriwanichpoom

“Shakespeare Must Die”, first film of Ing K., is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It was censored in Thailand – but she fought against that unfair judgement and won. “Censor Must Die” is the story of this fight – or how can we censor Shakespeare four hundred years after his creation.
“Shakespeare Must Die” est le premier film d’Ing K. Fidèle adaptation du Macbeth de Shakespeare, il fut censuré par les autorités en Thaïlande. “Censor Must Die” raconte l’histoire de la lutte victorieuse de la réalisatrice face à cette interdiction injuste – ou comment on peut censurer Shakespeare quatre cent ans après sa création.

Post-screening discussion of Censor Must Die with Ing K



From Southeast Asian Film Festival 2014

Censor Must Die won't be censored


Here's a news release from Manit Sriwanichpoom, producer of the banned film Shakespeare Must Die (เชคสเปียร์ต้องตาย, Shakespeare Tong Tai) and the companion documentary Censor Must Die (เซ็นเซอร์ต้องตาย), which chronicles his and his wife and director Ing K.'s exhaustive efforts to appeal against the ban.

This very day, even as the online community is seething over the government’s increasingly intense scrutiny and persecution of social media users, even as the police is requesting co-operation from Line, the popular smartphone chat app, to let them monitor its users to prevent threats to national security, we have unbelievable good news for freedom of expression in Thailand from the most unlikely quarter: the Film Censors.

Last year the Film Censorship Committee and the National Film Board banned the horror film, Shakespeare Must Die, a Thai adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.  Accordingly, since we are filmmakers, we recorded the whole banning process and our fight against the ban, from the Censors’ Office to the Film Board, to the National Human Rights Commission and the Senate House Committee on Human Rights, all the way to the Administrative Court. This has resulted in the documentary Censor Must Die.

Recently, as required by law, this new film was submitted to the censors. This morning we received a letter by post, document # Ministry of Culture 0508.2/6058 (Thai original and English translation in the attached files) from the Department of Cultural Promotion to inform the result of their deliberation: “Censor Must Die is exempted from the film censorship process and has been given permission from the Film and Video Censorship Committee, by the power of the 2008 Royal Edict on Film and Video, Article 27(1)”, because “the producer of Censor Must Die made the film from events that really happened.”

Furthermore, due to this exemption from censorship, Censor Must Die has not been rated and may be seen by anyone of any age.

For us, the filmmakers, this is like winning the lottery. We can’t stop smiling. It’s a great relief that we won’t have to repeat the arduous process of appeal that we went through and are still going through with Shakespeare Must Die. We must thank the censors for their brilliant broadmindedness.  I hope this precedence-setting decision will help to bring a more optimistic future for Thai cinema.

In the case of Shakespeare Must Die, both the National Human Rights Commission and the Senate House Human Rights Committee have concluded that the 2008 film law should be amended. The NHRC further recommends that the ban on the film should be lifted, as the ban infringed our right to freedom of expression. The case against the Censors and the Film Board is progressing in Administrative Court.


Manit Sriwanichpoom


Shakespeare Must Die and Censor Must Die

The reference to the "smartphone chat app" is in regard to the Royal Thai Police moves to monitor Line.

The news that Censor Must Die won't be censored and that it's apparently exempt from the ratings process because it's "made from events that really happened" is interesting and might perhaps encourage other documentary filmmakers in Thailand.

But there's not yet any word of when Censor Must Die might be shown in cinemas, which might be difficult given the recent experience of other politically sensitive documentaries, Paradoxocracy by Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Pasakorn Pramoolwong and Boundary by Nontawat Numbenchapol, which were both passed after changes were ordered by censors, but then ran into problems during their theatrical release.

Censors obviously dont want to die


A surprising censorship victory for Thai documentary Censor Must Die


Given Thailand’s over-the-top censorship, news that Samanrat Kanjanavanit (a.k.a. Ing K.) and her husband/partner Manit Sriwanichpoom’s Censor Must Die was approved for exhibition this week is a strange surprise. 

Last year, Kanjanavanit and Manit Sriwanichpoom’s Shakespeare Must Die became the second film to be banned under Thailand’s 2008 Film Act, which introduced an age-based ratings system similar to the MPAA’s meant to minimize the number of banned films. Until that point, films were evaluated on the basis of a law dating back to 1930. The first movie banned under the new law, 2010’s Insects In The Backyard, contained what Thai blogger Wise Kwai described as “explicit sexual imagery and allusions to patricide in the story about the transgender father of two troubled teens,” subject matter censors found “against public order” and “contrary to morality.”

The problems with Shakespeare were different: officially, censors feared this story of a theater troupe trying to stage Macbeth would cause “disunity.” As Wise Kwai summarizes, the real problem was that the play company’s tyrannical leader was “widely assumed to resemble Thailand’s ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra,” whose sister Yingluck assumed his position by the time the film was submitted to the censors. Out of frustration, Kanjanavanit and Sriwanichpoom documented their attempts to overturn the ban in the two-and-a-half hour Censor Must Die

This week, Sriwanichpoom sent out a press release announcing the documentary had been cleared for release. He quoted the decision from the Department of Cultural Promotion, which stated that the film was made “from events that really happened,” therefore making it “exempted from the film censorship process.” As the Bangkok Post notes, “this could be a historic ruling since it can be interpreted that from now on, any documentary film made from ‘events that really happened’ are not subjected to the censorship process.” 

Sriwanichpoom’s release goes on to note that “both the National Human Rights Commission and the Senate House Human Rights Committee have concluded that the 2008 film law should be amended” and that the former body’s recommended lifting the ban on Shakespeare Must Die.”

This incident is the latest in a string of controversies surrounding Thai censorship. Earlier this year, Nontawat Numbenchapol’s documentary Boundary (regarding the Thai-Cambodia border and attendant disputes) was first banned, then unbanned, with an explanation that the ban was issued by a sub-committee without the authority to do so. (Still facing unofficial pressure, Numbenchapol was forced to rent out auditoriums in multiplexes and sell tickets himself during abbreviated weekend runs in some cities and only four days in Bangkok.) 

Similarly, the Thai political history documentary Paradoxocracy was shown in theaters that actively tried to discourage patrons from seeing it (more on that here). “I'm not against banning films that show, for example, child molestation or sex with animals, which is the norm in most countries,” acclaimed director Apichatpong Weerasethakul observed in June. “But there shouldn’t be bans based on political issues like we have here.” But with censors so sensitive they blur out the swimsuits in “Sailor Moon,” that level of free media speech is probably a ways off yet.