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Last updated at 15:47 BST, Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Thai Macbeth

Summary

10 April 2012

Censors in Thailand have banned a film based on Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, saying it could cause divisions among the people.

Reporter

Viv Marsh

Actors in a 1970 production of Macbeth

Actors in a 1970 production of Macbeth

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Report

The film, entitled "Shakespeare Must Die", is a Thai-language adaptation of the play in which an ambitious Scottish general murders the king and kills again to hold onto his throne. Thailand's censors said it had content that caused divisiveness among the people.

Its themes of greed and power appear to have unnerved officials in a country polarised in 2006 by a coup that removed the prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra from office. The film's director told the BBC the ban was ridiculous: she said Thais were living in a climate of fear.

The film, set in a fictional country, contains footage of real-life political protests. Much use is made of the colour red - evoking memories in Thailand of the red-shirted demonstrators, most of them Thaksin supporters, who brought part of Bangkok to a standstill two years ago in a protest that ended in bloodshed.

The Thai government at the time granted funding for the film. But it was submitted to the censors under a new administration - led by Yingluck Shinawatra, Mr Thaksin's sister, whose party swept to power in elections last July.

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Vocabulary

ambitious

eager to succeed

throne

status as king

censors

people who can ban parts of films, books, etc.

divisiveness

a division or separation

unnerved

alarmed and frightened

polarised

separated into two extremes

a climate of fear

a situation where people are frightened

evoking

reminding people of

submitted

given for consideration

swept to power

won with an overwhelming majority