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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Russian films to be thoroughly screened

Volodymyr Voitenko: “There will be no more Kremlin’s propaganda in Ukrainian cinemas”
5 August, 2014 - 11:40

Before issuing distribution licenses to Russian films, members of an expert commission on film distribution will thoroughly inspect them for war and fascism propaganda and appeals to destroy the territorial integrity of our country. The decision to examine all Russian movies without exceptions for their compliance with Ukrainian laws was made at the State Agency of Ukraine for Cinematography due to the situation that resulted from Russia’s military aggression. As the agency representatives told The Day, they were surprised they received an application for distribution of the Russian movie Poddubny (produced by Trite Studio Production Company, directed by Orlov). In this film about the famous Ukrainian professional wrestler “individual facts are distorted and interpreted in Russia’s favor, so in the circumstances of war waged by Russia against Ukraine, this film is a tool of an information war.”

“According to legislation, the State Agency for Cinematography can refuse the issuance of state registration and distribution license in case an expert commission establishes that a film propagates war, violence, cruelty, fascism, neo-fascism, or it is aimed at the elimination of Ukraine’s independence, fomenting of ethnic, racial, religious strife, debasement of a nation, disrespect towards national and religious sacred shrines. Unfortunately, this can often be found in Russian propagandist films,” said in his commentary to The Day Stanislav PRYTULA, head of the state regulation and implementation of film projects department at the State Agency for Cinematography. “If before we were cooperative with distributors and could issue a license within a day or two, now we are obliged to show films to our experts at least 10 days in advance to the planned premiere date. That is, until recently, it was mostly horror films and thrillers which required an examination of professional psychologists and film critics that were additionally viewed by the expert commission. From now on, we are going to thoroughly check all movies made in the Russian Federation. This does not mean we are going to prohibit all Russian films with no exception. But make no mistake, if there is propaganda of the ideals of Russia’s special forces, or if a film says that outstanding and great Ukrainians are indeed Russians (like in a case with Poddubny), such films will not be shown in Ukraine.”

“The agency’s decision is completely logical and timely. Ukraine is in a state of an undeclared war with Russia, and a big number of propagandist Russian films and TV series are still shown in Ukraine. This practice will cease from now on. The State Agency for Cinematography addressed the experts with a request to review all films produced by Russia more thoroughly,” commented member of the Expert Commission on Film Distribution, famous film critic, and The Day’s author Volodymyr VOITENKO. “Certainly, such films should have been examined more attentively and not allowed in our market much earlier. But it is no use crying over spilt milk, we need to catch up. Our society has changed after Maidan, it became more demanding towards films. I am convinced experts will not allow Russian propaganda in Ukrainian cinemas anymore.”

By Vadym LUBCHAK, The Day