Russian senator — and world kickboxing champion — Batu Khasikov has prepared a bill that would see foreign films which “demonise” Russia banned from cinemas in the country. Khasikov told journalists on Monday that fostering patriotism in young people was of paramount importance and could be influenced through the box office.
In an interview with news agency Interfax, Khasikov said: “Specific requirements should be introduced for film screenings in the country. It is essential to limit access to all foreign films which openly demonise and primitively dumb down everything related to Russia.”
Khasikov said that financial backing for patriotic films from the government would help society “find new heroes” and that foreign films “in which heroes from other countries promote true human values” would not be affected.
He added: “However, the kinds of films which see a Russian character depicted as posing a threat to humanity at the whim of the screenwriter or director are hardly worthy of receiving a rental certificate and the possibility of distribution in the territory of our country.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture has published a list of the top 100 foreign films recommended for watching by the department. Some of Hollywood’s biggest hits are on the list, with a selection of European and American blockbusters including Gone with the Wind, Titanic and Schindler’s List listed as “public artistic heritage”.
The fight to control the distribution of information in Russia has seen marked intensification alongside an escalating conflict in Ukraine, with efforts at promoting patriotism and controlling the depiction of Russian history on the rise. Last month, culture minister Vladimir Medinsky launched a new summer camp designed to teach children basic military skills and foster patriotism. In March, United Russia party politician Oleg Savchenko drafted a bill to criminalise the distortion of the depiction of Russian history in film, books and video games.
You can find a list of the 100 recommended films in Russian here.
- Text: Nadia Beard