Thailand Bans INSECTS IN THE BACKYARD
INSECTS IN THE BACKYARD, a film about a transgender single father has been banned by The National Film Board from being shown in Thailand.
According to the board, the film contains scenes that are both immoral and pornographic. Insects is the story of a transgender single father that is struggling to raise two children. The story looks at the teenagers feelings of love and shame about their father’s life style, which eventually leads them to run away from home and turn to the sex trade.
Director Tanwarin Sukkhapisit states that the scenes in the film that caused it to be deemed “immoral” are crucial to the story line of the film and could not be cut. These scenes include clips of the children shown in their school uniforms working in the sex industry, and a male sex scene that was deemed too graphic.
Thailand is known for accepting the transgender community, with high visibility in TV soap operas and throughout Bangkok.
“Our society tries to show it accepts differences — but actually it doesn’t,” Tanwarin said. “Thailand is still a conservative society. This is a case of the government using its power to suppress people with different opinions.”
Tanwarin says that Insects was based loosely on her own life. Born a boy, Tanwarin began crossdressing as a teenager. “The problem with my film wasn’t that it was a gay-themed movie — because there are many gay comedies allowed in Thailand,” Tanwarin said. “My movie was banned because it was a serious movie. It showed there can be real problems when society cannot accept sexual differences.”
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