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Novosibirsk Court Fines Theaters for 'Wolf of Wall Street'

Published: April 8, 2014 (Issue # 1804)



  • Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a crooked and high-rolling stock broker, in The Wolf of Wall Street.
    Photo: Paramount Pictures

Five movie theater chains have been fined a total of 4 million rubles ($113,328) for showing the Hollywood blockbuster "The Wolf of Wall Street," which the central court of Novosibirsk deemed to be propagandizing narcotics use.

In February, the Novosibirsk branch of the Federal Service for Narcotics Control brought a case against six companies holding a total of 10 movie theaters for showing "The Wolf of Wall Street," saying that the film "reflected a subculture of drug abusers" and idealized the use of narcotics, Itar-Tass reported.

Viktor Ivanov, director of the Federal Service for Narcotics Control, said the order to pursue movie theaters had not come from him, and no cases have been brought against theaters for showing the film outside of Novosibirsk.

However, the Novosibirsk Regional Court on Friday sided with the local branch of the narcotics control service in finding the theater chains guilty under the Russian federal statute outlawing the propagandization or idealization of narcotics use.

Representatives of the theater chains continue to maintain that the court and local narcotics control service have no basis for their claims, as the film was approved by the Culture Ministry. "The Culture Ministry bears responsibility for the content of the film," said Yelena Dmitriyeva, director of the Kinositi theater chain, Colta.ru reported.

Kinoalliance, a nonprofit lobbying organization working on behalf of theater chains in Russia, announced its intention to support the defendants in appealing the decision. Mikhail Shvydko, special representative of the president for cultural cooperation, also expressed support for the defendants and described the situation as absurd: "Unfortunately, the current law code is so confused and contradictory that pretty much anything could fall under any kind of criminal punishment," Vzglyad business newspaper reported.

The film "The Wolf of Wall Street" stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a cocaine-snorting, pill-popping stockbroker and financier who makes money hand over fist via dubious methods before being busted and imprisoned. The film was released in December 2013 and has grossed more than $389 million worldwide.

Novosibirsk law enforcement is not alone in criticizing the film: It has been banned entirely in Malaysia, Nepal and Kenya due to its depiction of sex, drugs and profanity. Scenes were removed from the version distributed in India, and Singapore has allowed to film to shown only in a small number of theaters. In the U.S., animal rights activists criticized the film's use of apes as cruel and traumatic.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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