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Russia censors ‘Hunter Killer,’ blames distributor’s filing error



Russia censors Hunter Killer blames distributors filing error

Every work of art, including movies, must receive a permit from the Russian Ministry of Culture before it can be shown to the public. The movie Hunter Killer starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman was supposed to be released in Russia on November 1, but the Ministry claims the distributor did not provide a proper copy for Gosfilmfond, the state film archive.

Magogo Distribution claims they did.

“We have submitted all the materials and documents ahead of time; we provided copies of the movie for review a month and a half before the release date,” they said in a press release.

The film depicts the Russian President being kidnapped in a coup attempt by the Russian Defense Minster. Only an American submarine captain and the US Navy SEALS can save him.

It sounds like the exact type of movie Russian President Vladimir Putin would prefer his people never see. But they’re sticking to their story of clerical error.

The film is still listed as “coming soon” five days after it was supposed to be released. Tickets have already been sold at Russian theaters. No word about if or when the movie will be made available to Russian audiences.

Hollywood Movie ‘Hunter Killer’ in Russian Limbo – ‘Veiled Censorship‘?“A thriller about a military coup in Russia did not receive a distribution license from the Ministry of Culture,” Pertsev’s column stated, “perhaps due to the fact that the government saw in it their real phobias.”

In an op-ed, the independent news agency Rosbalt also questioned the Ministry of Culture’s explanation. It said the official reason the film was not released seemed “obviously too much,” given that theaters across Russia had already listed the movie and sold tickets for the premiere, thereby suffering financial losses.

The real reason for the film not getting the green light possibly “lies in the plot of the thriller itself,” Rosbalt wrote.

My Take

Oh, Russia. Just come out and say it. You’re censoring the movie because it paints your precious President in a vulnerable light. You don’t like a movie that shows him being saved by the American military and special forces. You’re concerned that even insinuating anyone in the Russian military would consider a coup would be a dangerous notion to contemplate.

Headlines are calling this “veiled censorship.” This is blatant censorship surrounded by an outright lie. Veiling it would be subtle. There is no subtlety here. The Russian people are being deprived of a bit of entertainment over the government’s fears.


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