Russian Officials Want To Ban Foreign Films That ‘Demonize Russia’

As Russia inches closer and closer to becoming the despotic capitalist version of the old USSR, they’ve already taken steps towards empire in Ukraine and acquired Steven Seagal as their chief apologist, but what else is missing? Ah, right, censorship. To that end, a member of the culture committee recently recommended a ban on foreign films that “demonize Russia.”

While the idea of stricter control over the image of Russia and Russians in foreign films has been floated by top officials time and again over the last few years, the first concrete proposal aimed at banning foreign films that “demonize” Russia was recently made by Batu Khasikov, a member of the culture committee at Russia’s Federation Council, the upper chamber of Parliament.

“Specific requirements should be introduced for film exhibition in the country, and movies where everything related to Russia is overtly demonized or shown in a primitive and silly way should be banned from theatrical distribution,” he was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency Interfax.

To be fair, we did make quiiiite a few films that demonize Russia. And some of the best ones, too! Red Dawn, Top Gun, Rambo, Iron Eagle, War Games, Stripes… Jeez, if you ban all those, what would you be left with?

To their credit, the Russians actually do answer this question:

Meanwhile, Russia’s culture ministry has publish a list of 100 foreign movies that it recommends for watching [as opposed to recommending them for bathing, I assume. -Ed]. It features many Hollywood titles, including Apocalypse Now, Cabaret, The Last Emperor and Titanic. Some independent local media noted that recommending Apocalypse Now may not exactly be in line with Russia’s current policies. [THR]

A decadent boat full of arrogant robber barons taken down by a series of austere, grey icebergs, I can certainly see the appeal of Titanic. Oh dammit, now all I can picture is shirtless Steven Seagal asking to be drawn like one of your French girls, acting all coy behind his yellow glasses and demurely opening his bulletproof kimono.