Censors let 'Arpat' into cinemas

Censors let 'Arpat' into cinemas

Arpat, the new name of the banned Thai film Arbat, passed the censorship board on Friday and was issued with an 18-plus rating.

Several sensitive scenes have been cut from the original version, and a warning text appears at the start.

“We still wanted to show the original version, but to get the film into the cinemas as soon as possible, we decided to compromise,” said Prachya Pinkaew, the film’s producer.

Committee members who judged the film yesterday were different from those who banned the previous version of the film on Monday.

The ban was imposed on the grounds that the movie would tarnish the image of Buddhism through telling a story of misbehaving monks.

The new rating committee said they had no objection about the film’s depiction of monks in the new film.

Six rating committees take turns to consider films at the Office of Cultural Promotion.

The new version has removed a scene of a young monk kissing a girl, a monk drinking alcohol and a monk touching the head of a Buddha statue, among others.

A warning stressing the film is a work of fiction has been inserted at the start of the film.

Mr Prachya admits that the title change, from Arbat to Arpat, may sound like a "silly move", but he said it is a strategy to submit the “new film” for consideration while retaining the right to appeal for a new verdict of the original film.

“We want to appeal for a permit of the original Arbat, but the process takes a long time, so we presented the re-edited version and called it Arpat instead,” he said.

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