Hollywood’s light-hearted spy blockbuster Kingsman: The Golden Circle has been banned in Cambodia due to a scene that portrays the country and one of its famous temples as a hotbed of crime.
Although the movie was not filmed in Cambodia, as it turns out, Poppy’s 50s-inspired drug lord hideout is a jungle-ringed temple that resembles the well-known Ta Prohm – a site in the famed Angkor complex that is tangled in tree roots and was used as a set for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
“And what is more worrying is that it uses one of our temples as a place to produce drugs, to kill people cruelly… So we don’t allow the screening of this film in our country,” said Bok Borak, the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Film Department deputy director.
“Our temple is a world heritage site that we must protect and it is not a place for such things,” he adding that a letter will be sent to the film’s producers “to show our frustration”.
Westec Media, which purchased the local distribution rights for the film, could not reached immediately for comment.
On another note, Cambodia has been a well-known popular smuggling route and destination for narcotics, particularly methamphetamine and heroin. What’s more, the notoriously corrupt authorities have made it an easy hideout for foreign criminals and fugitives.
This is not the first time Cambodia has outlawed entertainment it considers harmful to the country’s traditional values, due to Southeast Asia’s ongoing battle with its war on drugs.