An explosive film about a political prisoner who was held for 17 years without trial has been banned by Singapore government officials. ZAHARI'S 17 YEARS tells the story of former journalist Said Zahari, who was arrested in 1963 for suspected subversive activities, including communist sympathies. However, the Singapore Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts said on Tuesday (10APR07) the film will be banned because it is "against public interests." In a statement, the ministry said, "The film gives a distorted and misleading portrayal of Said Zahari's arrest and detention under the Internal Security Act." The film's director Martyn See is undeterred however, saying, "Zahari's 17 Years is a 50-minute long interview with Zahari about his 17-year detention - one of the longest in Singapore - and the fear among former political detainees to talk about their experience. "The government is clearly not allowing history to be heard. It does not want to acknowledge the history of detention because it is an acute embarrassment."