Both Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, two of the year’s biggest blockbusters, go against Russia’s policy of “strengthening traditional and spiritual values”, the country’s Ministry of Culture announced Thursday.
Vladislav Davankov, the deputy speaker of the State Duma, suggested on 1 August that films produced in “unfriendly countries” be screened in Russian cinemas without studio permission allowing Russians to see American films like Barbie or Oppenheimer.
Addressing the proposal, Russia’s Deputy Culture Minister Andrey Malyshev said:
We believe that the two films you’ve picked, Barbie and Oppenheimer, are not in line with the goals set by our president to strengthen the spiritual and traditional values of our citizens.
Malyshev also noted that Russian cinemas screen “a multitude of high-quality domestic movies”, such as The Challenge, which was partially filmed aboard the International Space Station, and The Witness, a propaganda film produced to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The latter failed in cinemas, collecting less than 7 million rubles (€67,000) over four days despite the 200 million-ruble (€1.9 million) budget and production support from the Culture and Defence Ministries.
Malyshev said that the Russian film industry had seen an upside to Hollywood’s decision to boycott the Russian market, arguing that it had encouraged filmmakers to produce more domestic films and TV series.