Monks in 26th Buddhist Era: Characters of Monks in Thai Films Against the Code of Monastic Discipline

Abstract

According to Thailand’s constitution, it is declared that a person has the right to freely express opinions but the movies, showing monks inappropriately conducting the monastic discipline, must be banned or censored even though the film art is trying to tell the truth in the society which Thai Authority feel uncomfortable to accept. Therefore, this research attempted to study monks in different genres of Thai films in terms of monastic disciplines breaking and myths of Buddhism which Thai Authority tries to press not to let audiences know which leads to the ban and censorship. Interestingly, the finding shows that genres of the films affect the consideration of censorship board. The scenes where the monks who break the highest rules, called Parajikka or banishment from the monkhood, especially in crime and thriller films, are banned or edited out while monks in comedy films are allowed to be on screen although they should be punished by lighter penalty. The censorship of the board seems inconsistent, lacks certain standard, and has a lot of exceptions for some films. Even though the board always claims morality and honorable culture of the nation, this causes the destruction and elimination of artistic exuberance. However, audiences have to judge by themselves between monks in the reality and monks in the film art.



Author Information
Amonrat Rattanawong, Kasetsart University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2017
Stream: Visual Culture

This paper is part of the ACCS2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21