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SINGAPOREAN FILMMAKERS DECRY CENSORSHIP

November 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The director and cast of the Singaporean film Sex. Violence. FamilyValues have vowed to appeal a decision by the island nation’s censors banning the film. The Media Development Authority (MDA) last month changed the rating of the film from M18, comparable to an R rating, to an NAR (Not for All Rating), objecting to a scene in the comedy in which a Chinese porn director shouts racial epithets at an amateur Indian actor. At a news conference on Saturday, actor Adrian Pang, who portrays the director in the film, observed that the scene was intended to mock racism. “What this incident shows is that the powers that be that are watching us are obviously treating us with so little regard as a people, that they figure we do not have the maturity, the intelligence or the plain good common sense to see a piece of entertainment and judge it for themselves,” the website inSing.com reported Pang as saying. Indeed, added writer-director Ken Kwek, “Far from condoning racism, Sex. Violence. FamilyValues attacks racism, ignorance and all manner of sexual, racial and familial stereotypes using the tools of satire and comedy.” The filmmakers also decried the fact that the MDA yanked the license for the film less than a week before its scheduled release after receiving complaints from two persons who had viewed a trailer for it on the Internet and who asserted that it demeans and offends the Indian community. Said Kwek, “I must assert very firmly that I did not make a film that is in any way demeaning or offensive to any ethnic community.” The film has been shown at a number of international film festivals — including the India International Film Festival — without a reported incident. Asked whether he had considered releasing the film on the Internet, Kwek replied, “We are not considering other ways of screening the film. We are looking at completing this appeal and hopefully getting a positive outcome so that the rest of Singapore can see the film for what it was meant to be.”