The film, about the life of infamous political wife Imelda Marcos, was written and directed by Lauren Greenfield. It debuted at the Venice and Telluride festivals a year ago, before going on to a decent festival career with stops at the Mill Valley, London, Stockholm, El Gouna, Chicago and Hamptons events.
It has played for several weeks in specialized release in the North of Thailand and in Bangkok. But Thida Polpalitkarnpim, founder of the Documentary Club, was told by authorities that screenings in the South cannot go ahead.
The film chronicles Marcos’ extraordinary corruption, greed and brutality, and behind the scenes influence that helped her husband Ferdinand Marcos’ regime. It also tackles her desire to restore her family to past glory, notably through her son.
Polpalitkarnpim said in a Facebook posting that Thai authorities told her they objected to the title of the film and to its poster, not its content.
The South of Thailand, which has a significant Muslim population, has been in a state of simmering insurrection for several years. Now other parts of Thailand are also having their own political moment.
In recent weeks, student groups have taken to the streets of Bangkok and other cities to question the military-backed forces which formed a government last year. The military-led government presents itself as both backed by the monarchy and protecting the monarchy and a patriarchal, Buddhist society. Its critics see it as anti-democratic and corrupt.
While the Thai monarchy has traditionally been a reply revered institution, escaping criticism due to strict lese majeste laws, it too is now being questioned on social media and on the street. Protests on Monday last week, openly called for reform of the institution.
An estimated 10,000 protesters took to the streets of Bangkok on Sunday with a mixture of reformist demands. Government cut off the internet in the vicinity of the protest in order to impede social media, and IPTV network True Visions blacked out BBC News reports of the demonstration.