Russia bans World War Two movie, Child 44

Russia has banned a new Hollywood movie from playing in Russian cinemas because the authorities are stating that it does not tell the true events of World War Two.

The premier of Child 44 is was due to take place this month, but since the ban was put in place it was no longer able to go ahead. Both the film’s distributor and the Russian Culture Ministry, which monitors for suitability and certification of all media, said that the movie portrays a distorted view of events during World War Two, and they even go on to say it is historically incorrect.

The film’s release has also clashed with VE Day commemorations around the world, including Russia where a huge military parade took place in Moscow’s Red Square. The Russian authorities thought it was especially unacceptable to release the film at a time when the world was remembering the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s Culture Minister commented that films like Child 44 shouldn’t be allowed to make money from Russia’s citizens, since it is not correct.

Many Russian-made patriotic films have flooded Russian cinemas in recent years, depicting the heroism and victory of the Soviet Red Army during World War Two. Russia has also been proactive in counterattacking any, what it calls, ‘false’ claims about the Soviet Union’s and its troops’ actions during the war.

As the civil war in the Ukraine continues, this has also impacted on tensions between Russia and the West, causing some of the worst inter-country relations since the Cold War.

Walt Disney has been in discussions with the Russian Culture Ministry over the past few months about one of its new films, which was also due to be release in Russia during April. The release of Avengers: Age of Ultron was postponed so that the Russian movie Great Patriotic War could be released. The movie’s name is what the time from 1941 to 1945 is known as in Russia. During that time more than 25 million Soviet Red Army soldiers and civilians were killed.

Child 44 was originally a book by British thriller writer, Tom Rob Smith. The movie has been adapted from the book and stars Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy. Joseph Stalin is portrayed in the movie approving mass famines and killing tens of thousands of civilians every day. The Russian Culture Ministry also said that the film portrays the Soviet people as inferior to the rest of the world, the Today Online reports.

Child 44’s distributor in Russia has now withdrawn its application for a permit to show the movie in the country.

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Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE