Clip banned in Russia
by Vladan Petkovic
21/08/2012 - "Clip [trailer, film focus] was banned over indecent language and scenes of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as 'pornographic' depictions of sex between minors,' said Sam Klebanov of the distribution company Maywin Media AB, which had scheduled the film's release for Aug 30. "This is the first case of such censoring, and an attempt to introduce moral censorship in the country. Explicit arthouse fare never had any screening problems in Russia."
Indeed, Clip played at the Moscow International Film Festival in June, at two sold-out screenings.
The ban was signed by Deputy Culture Minister Ivan Demidov. According to Klebanov, the decision spells a new era for the Culture Ministry, headed since May by Vladimir Medinsky, a conservative-minded PR specialist with a controversial reputation. This was reported by the Russian News and Information Agency RIA Novosti. There was no official statement from the Ministry, and calls from RIA Novosti remained unanswered.
Speaking to Cineuropa, Klebanov said: "The film is currently banned by the Russian Ministry of Culture, quoting the new federal Law For Protection of Children from Harmful Information, although the law only regulates age restrictions and doesn't contain any clauses which would allow to ban film altogether. We are going to appeal this decision."
Asked by Cineuropa if he expected to win the appeal in light of recent political events in Russia, Klebanov replied: “Honestly, I don't know, but the current political climate is playing an important role in this situation. This is, as far as I know, the first ban imposed on internationally acclaimed film in Russia. Worth noting is the new Culture Minister's declaration that the Russian Orthodox Church is the closest ally of the Ministry."