Lithuania: Cinemas refuse to screen Russian film over propaganda


Cinemas in Lithuania have refused to screen Russian superhero movie ‘Guardians’ over the content of the film, which depicted “the excessive power of the Russian army”, its “aggressive military doctrine” and “heavy weaponry”, reported Gazeta on 20 February 2017.

The film, a close twin to the Hollywood Avengers and Justice League superhero movies, tells the story of Soviet superheroes that were created during the Cold War, featuring characters representing several of the former Soviet socialist republics.

The film was shot in and around Moscow, as well as in Crimea, and features Soviet symbols, which also contravenes a Lithuanian law that makes it illegal to use and display Soviet and Nazi symbols.


Other flicks also seen as propaganda
Earlier in the year, Lithuanian parliamentarians considered two other Russian movie exports to be propaganda: ‘Viking’ and ‘Three Heroes and the King of the Sea’.

‘Viking’ is a historical drama about Vladimir the Fair Sun who is exiled to Sweden after the death of his father. In Sweden he assembles an army of mercenaries to take Kiev back from his half-brother.

According to his statement on 24 January 2017, Member of Parliament Radvila Morkunaite-Mikuleniene said the film was a “political project” that threatened the country’s national security, adding that the purpose of the film was to “justify” the annexation of Crimea.

The parliamentarian added that motion picture distributors should not only assess Russian films based on projected profits, but also on the veracity of the content and its interpretation of history.

Meanwhile, the ‘Three Heroes and the King of the Sea’ children’s’ cartoon was considered to be propaganda by Lithuanian National Radio and Television experts who deemed that children could “form misconceptions” from parts of the film.

Both films were screened in Lithuania.


Photo: screenshot from Guardians/YouTube


Sources

» Baltnews – 19 March 2017
Propaganda problem: Russian film ‘Guardians’ successful in Latvia, banned at the box office in Lithuania

» Sputnik – 21 February 2017
‘Guardians’ film refused to be shown in Lithuania

» Gazeta – 20 February 2017
‘Guardians’ film banned from being shown in Lithuania

» Sputnik – 24 January 2017
‘Viking’ film and ‘Three Heroes’ cartoon called propaganda in Lithuania

» Lithuanian Parliament – 24 January 2017
MP Mr. Morkunaite-Mikuleniene message: “Russian production is to be assessed not only for commercial use, but also historical justice criteria”

» Lenta – 24 January 2017
Lithuania feels its national security threatened due to Crimea reference in the ‘Viking’

» Sputnik – 24 January 2017
Parliamentarian spotted propaganda in Russian film ‘Viking’

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