Shakespeare must be banned – The Nation, April 3, 2012
From the statement from the filmmakers:
…As every English-speaking middle school children know, ‘Macbeth’ is the supreme study of megalomania, the tale of a warlord with limitless ambition who, prompted by the prophecies of witches and egged on by his fiendish wife, kills his king to crown himself. A reign of terror ensues, as the paranoid tyrant must keep on killing to preserve his power.
It seems strange that the cultural ministry would ban Shakespeare, in the form of a film that the ministry itself had funded. It’s as if we’re actually living under a real live Macbeth. There are cinematic versions of Macbeth from all over the world—India, Japan, Taiwan, you name it. This is the first Thai Shakespearean film and, for reasons of national security, it is deemed too dangerous for Thai people to see!
And more on this page as the director prepares the film to send to the Thai censors:
…Thailand is in the worst mood in my living memory; the very dust in the air is filled with rage, hate, grief and helplessness. The inevitable questions from the censors, and others, will be: Are you not afraid that this film will contribute to the existing divisiveness? Are you biased against the red shirts? Aren’t you scared that the red shirts will kill you? Is the film an attack on the Shinawatra family? Is this film an attack on the royal family? (Given the current plague of lese majeste cases, let me confirm right here that every syllable in that scene is straight from Shakespeare; it’s a discussion of the Divine Right of Kings, ie they’re only divine if they behave, and it’s essentially about rulers and leaders of men, not only kings.) Is this film dredging up old and new wounds unnecessarily? Why does Khunying Mekhdeth (Lady Macbeth) call on evil spirits to possess her while praying before a Buddha statue? Etc….