Thursday, September 30, 2004

Thai Schools, Parents & Films

I was in a cinema down on Sukhimwit last week with a friend watching a Japanese movie called Azumi. Its basically a samurai movie with lots of sword slashings, blood spurtings and general mayhem and killings. Apparently it was based on a Managa comic of the same name. Obviously I enjoyed it. If it was back in farangland i would probably be only for 15 years or 18 years old and up. When the lights came up at the end I was surprised to see a young boy maybe about 7 or 8 years old lying across a couple of seats fast asleep and the parents sitting next to him

Now the question is - what where the parents thinking when they brought the kid to see the film? Did they know about the bloody content? Could they not find a baby sitter? Did they want to see it and didnt care if the kid got nightmares? Did the kid want to see it? Who knows but I have noticed that it is actually quite common to see young kids in movies that are plainly not suitable for them. Back home of course, there would be letters to the papers demanding that the kid be taken into care and out of the hands of the unfeeling parents because of innapropriate behaviour. But in a way Thailand is actually quite grown up and infact more so because it says do what you want, we the government are not a nanny to look afer you and hold your hand.

Another example is this school. There is a large audio visual room with tapes and videos to borrow and show the kids. There is the usual range of Disney and animals videos but there are also some surprising ones. A few weeks ago a teacher went down to get a video and asked about a particular title - she didnt know what the film was about - and the thai staff said yes its ok its a martial arts movie with jet Li and Bridget Fonda. She showed the film to the kids who were actually quite bored apart from the action bits but she was surprised about the content. Its about a policeman framed by a corrupt policeman and he then has to tie up with a prostitute and kill various people to clear himself. This film was actually classed as only for over 18 year at home. Let me repeat, the thai staff said it was ok to show this film to 8 year olds.

Unreal, but then if this was the same as home, we would still be there!

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