Culture Ministry Bans Award-Winning Movie for Racy Content
A screenshot featuring teenager Yana, the film's heroine.
The Culture Ministry has banned cinemas from screening a Serbian movie that won praise at a recent international film festival, deploring scenes that contain uncensored swearing, drug and alcohol abuse, and pornographic content.
"Clip," Serbian director Maja Milos' debut film, won one of three Golden Tiger awards at the Rotterdam Film Festival and was singled out for praise by Dutch movie critics.
It was described as "energetic, honest and groundbreaking" by the festival's jury, RIA-Novosti reported.
But on Friday, Russian culture officials turned down an application to screen the film, citing the law "On defending children from information that causes harm to their health and development," the news agency said.
Officials highlighted the fact that the film's heroine, Yana, experiments with drugs and sex at a young age. The film is set in the Serbian provinces, where Yana grows up with a negligent mother and constantly ill father.
"Clip" was slated for screening in Russian cinemas on Aug. 30.
Sam Klebanov, president of Cinema Without Borders, which applied to screen the film, told Dozhd TV over the weekend that Ivan Demidov, deputy culture minister overseeing cinema, personally took the decision to ban the film.
Demidov is known as a devout Orthodox believer.