The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation has banned the distribution of Hollywood’s new releases “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” due to their inconsistency with “traditional spiritual values.”
Several publications, including RBC, TASS, and Kommersant, reported on this. The suggestion to screen these films was put forward by Vladislav Davankov, the deputy speaker of the State Duma, from the “New People” party. The politician proposed that the Ministry of Culture conduct an experiment on the forced licensing of films from unfriendly countries.
In response, the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Andrey Malyshev, noted that the films do not align with the “strengthening of traditional Russian spiritual and moral values.”
“Russian cinema is filled with high-quality domestic premieres. In 2023, major releases have included the family film “Cheburashka,” which became the highest-grossing movie in the history of Russian cinema; the first feature film shot in space, “Challenge”; and the film about recent Russian history, “Witness.” ”
Andrey Malyshev, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
The world premiere of “Barbie” took place on July 21, 2023. The film grossed over 400 million dollars in just four days, and it crossed the half-a-billion mark in less than a week. On August 20, tickets for the film “Barbie”, which became the hit of 2023, became available in Moscow cinemas. However, the joy of fans was short-lived as screenings began to be canceled.
“Oppenheimer” was released in theaters worldwide on July 19, 2023. Leading roles in the film were played by Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., and others. The Russian premiere was also planned for September. However, several sources later reported on the ban by the government of the Russian Federation.
Later on, the Cinema Fund spoke against any mechanisms for the legalization of the distribution of foreign films on the territory of the Russian Federation without the consent of the copyright holders.
Well, Barbie, once the epitome of global adventures, now faces the intricate puzzle of Russian cultural norms. As for Oppenheimer, maybe there’s a secret nuclear formula for making a blockbuster universally accepted.
Nevertheless, it seems Barbie and Oppenheimer might have to wait in line behind Cheburashka for their Russian debut. Or they should consider a collab with Cheburashka for a surefire hit… But who knows? Maybe they can find consolation in being part of an exclusive ‘too-hot-for-Russia’ club.