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Thai court reaffirms gay-themed film ban for pornographic content

Thai court reaffirms gay-themed film ban for pornographic content

The Administrative Court on Thursday ruled that a LGBTI-themed film, Insects in the Backyard which has been banned since 2010, violates Section 287 of the Criminal Code.

The court says the short pornographic scene in the film violates Thai laws that prohibit the screening of pornographic films, in their entirety, or in part; and ‘has impacts on morality and social decency.’

The film by indie filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit reportedly contains an offending three-second scene where characters in the film are seen watching an X-rated gay movie which depicts graphic depiction of sexual organs and sexual intercourse, according to the Bangkok Post.

Tanwarin, who is transgender, plays a transgender father whose teenage daughter and son are both questioning their own sexuality and both enter the sex trade.

The court said the film can only be screened if the offending scene is cut to get a 20+ for audiences above the age of 20.

Following the film’s ban by the Culture Ministry’s National Film Board in 2010, the film’s director filed a case with the Administrative Court to challenge the ban, making her the first filmmaker in Thailand to do so.

‘The film is meant to talk about family problems and mostly lessons learned from my own experiences. It doesn’t intend to cast a negative light on the country,’ Tanwarin said.

In a 2011 interview published by NPR, Tanwarin said the banning of her film validates the assertion that transgender people are treated by Thai society as as an unsightly species—like insects, whose existence is acknowledged as long as it’s confined to the backyard.

‘Therefore, I’d have to say thank you to the censors for banning my movie,’ she said at the time. ‘If this movie is an exhibition or a show, it is a successful one. If not for the censors, my point wouldn’t be this clear.’