Children of the Dark: Too Controversial for Bangkok Film Fest

Sep 20, 2008–The Bangkok Film Festival has pulled Japanese director Sakamoto’s child prostitution drama “Children of the Dark” just days before the festival was to begin. Festival’s execs claim that the film is “not appropriate for Thai society.”

The film was denied a permit to shoot in Thailand last year, according to the Thailand Film Office, but the producers managed to shoot in Bangkok by co-producing with a local company.

Programmers at the eight-day fest, which begins on Tuesday, announced the film earlier this month. But when fest sponsor the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Federation of National Film Assn. were told of the movie’s content, they decided to ax it from the program.

“Even though the bad guys in the movie are foreigners, the movie contains inappropriate content about child prostitution that does not fit with Thai society,” said Federation chairman Jaruek Kaljaruek.

Last year, the festival pulled “Persepolis,” a cartoon based on Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel about an Iranian girl who comes of age during the country’s revolution, after the Iranian Embassy in Bangkok complained. “Persepolis” was later released on one screen in Bangkok and ran for two months.