Thailand’s Film Censorship Board has banned a local horror adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Shakespeare Must Die, directed by Ing K.

The Record of Film Inspection stated that: “the Board deems that the film Shakespeare Must Die has content that causes divisiveness among the people of the nation, according to Ministerial Regulations…

“Therefore our verdict is to withhold permission; the film is grouped under films that are not allowed to be distributed in the Kingdom, according to Article 26(7) of the Royal Edict on Film and Video.”

Shakespeare Must Die was the last project to receive financial support from the Ministry of Culture’s film fund, which was managed by the previous Thai government (headed by Abhisit Vejajiva) in 2010, but no longer exists.

The film was only recently completed and submitted to the censorship board, which is part of the Department of Cultural Promotion in the Ministry of Culture. The filmmakers say they will appeal against the decision.

One other local production has received a complete ban since Thailand’s Film Law was enacted in 2009 – Tanwarin Sukkhapisit’s Insects In The Backyard which was banned due to its sexual content. 

Ing K is an independent filmmaker who directed several documentaries before making her debut feature My English Eats Biscuits in 1997, which was banned from the first Bangkok Film Festival the following year.

Her credits also include the four-hour documentary Citizen Juling (2008) about political unrest in the south of Thailand, which she co-directed with Kraisak Choonhavan and Manit Sriwanichpoom. The film passed censorship and was released in Thailand in 2010.