Uneven satire of Singaporean conservatism only really sizzles in its middle episode.
Sex.Violence earns Malaysia ban
By Patrick Frater
Sat, 23 March 2013, 19:05 PM (HKT)
Sex.Violence.FamilyValues (2013), the controversial Singaporean film about race relations has been banned from screening at a festival in neighbouring Malaysia.
According to a statement by the Malaysia Film Censorship Board (LPF), the anthology of three short films starring Adrian PANG 彭耀順 and former Singapore Idol contestant Sylvia RATONEL "contains strong and obscene language as well as scenes that show obscene actions that is insulting to local cultures."
The film had been programmed to play at the ASEAN International Film Festival in Kuching (28-30 March) and its well-established screenwriter-turned-director Ken KWEK 郭智軒 had been invited to attend.
The LPF said that an outright ban was appropriate because of the difficulties of cutting the film. "[The LPF] could not recommend any cuts as they would disrupt the continuity of the film, especially in Part 3 of the film."
In October last year Sex.Violence.FamilyValues was banned by Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) after language in the second segment, Porn Masala, was deemed racially offensive. However the ban was lifted after an appeal and it went on release this month, albeit edited and given a classification making it only available to people age 21 and over.
Last week it was announced that the film had been sold to US micro-distributor Virgil Films, which was reported to be considering an online release.
Kwek has consistently argued that the film is a satire. In a comment on his Twitter account Kwek said: "Serious déjà vu. I sure hope it's not policy that every ASEAN country should ban this film at least once."