Cambodian censors axe 'love for auction' TV series

(AFP) – 19 hours ago

PHNOM PENH — Cambodia on Thursday cancelled a TV mini-series about a beautiful woman whose suitors have to bid for her hand in marriage at auction -- with a starting price of one million dollars.

The Ministry of Information ordered the Cambodian Television Network (CTN) to stop showing the popular film series "Strange Lovers" because it was "totally opposite to good Cambodian tradition."

It "seriously affects the reputation and dignity of Cambodian women as well as drawing a lot of reaction from the audience," a statement from the ministry read.

The story revolves around a young, wealthy woman called Nuon Neang Lom-orng, who has all the qualities of the ideal modern wife: she is smart, comes from a good family, has studied abroad and knows all about art and music.

She is inundated with marriage proposals until her mother, after agonising over who should be allowed to wed her daughter, decides to auction her off at a starting price of one million dollars.

The story of "Serial Lovers" was to be told over 60 episodes, but the government intervention means viewers are left hanging after just 13 episodes.

The show's writer Poan Phuong Bopha said she regretted the decision, describing the ban as a threat to the movie makers. "This feels like we are being beaten with a stick," she said.

It is not the first time Cambodia has outlawed entertainment it considers harmful to the country's traditional values.

In 2004, the government banned a pop song that showed scenes of a Buddhist monk hugging and kissing a girl while bathing in a pond near a pagoda.

Last year, the country?s first rock opera 'Where Elephants Weep' was axed after monks said it was insulting to see actors dressed as clergy breaking into song and dance.


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