…Fire burn and cauldron bubble…

The drama over Shakepeare Must Die will, naturally enough, inspire many to track down a showing, or a copy, of this Ing Kanjanavanit and Manit Sriwanichpoom film. You can watch the trailer if you want to get a sense of what all the fuss is about. Riffing on the story of MacBeth it looks like good, provocative, cinematic fun.

But of course nobody much is surprised that the Thai censors don’t see it that way. The film has been banned, for now.

It is a classic situation, tailor-made for generating foreign press coverage. As The Wall Street Journal explains:

“Shakespeare Must Die,” a new Thai film that bills itself as a Shakespearean horror movie, tells the story of a dictator who suppresses a local staging of “Macbeth.”

But in a case of life imitating art, the Thai government — which partially funded the movie — has banned it, saying its content “causes divisiveness among the people of the nation.”

That Thai authorities helped fund the film in the first place is somewhat remarkable: it suggests they didn’t read the script. It sounds to me like somebody at the Ministry of Culture will be closely auditing the approvals process from now on.

In the meantime, if you want to join the campaign to have Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra reverse the ban then you can add your name to the list. And if you want to read more about the controversy then Political Prisoners in Thailand is, as ever, a good place to start.